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C. A. KINCAID, C.V.O., I.C.S. 

Officler de I'lastruction Publlque 

Rao Bahadur D. B. PARASNIS 

VOL. Ill 










Published by the Oxford University Press 


Published by Messrs. Macmillan & Co. 


Published by the ' Times of India ' 


Published by Messrs. Taraporevala & Co. 


Published by the ' Daily Gazette ' Press 









I now offer to the public the third volume of A History 
of the Marat ha People, which I have dedicated like the others 
to the Maratha People. I decided to write the book as far 
back as 1913, after assuring myself of the collaboration of 
Rao Bahadur D. B. Parasnis. I owe him a deep debt of 
thanks for the help which he has given me, and for the infinite 
courtesy with which he has always soothed my impatience. 
He is solely responsible for Appendix B, Chapter LXVII1 
on Ram Shastri and the Peshwa's justice. I have also re- 
ceived the greatest help from Mr. Sardesai's admirable 
Riyasat, a copy of which he very kindly sent me. The Chief 
of Ichalkaranji has been throughout most sympathetic, and 
has often lent me books that without his help I could not 
have obtained. My thanks are also due to Rao Bahadur 
Sane, who has laid all students of Indian history under a 
great obligation by the publication of the Peshwa's Bakhar and 
other ancient Maratha chronicles. Lastly, my most grateful 
thanks are due to the Government of H. H. The Maharaja of 
Baroda, the Government of H. H. The Maharaja of Kolhapur, 
and to the Chiefs of Sangli, Ichalkaranji, Bhor, Aundh, and 
Miraj senior, for their generous support. 

As regards the arrangement of the third volume, it may be 
objected that I have compressed into too small a space the 
reign of Bajirao II. This I have done deliberately. My 
work is primarily for Indian readers, and to them the glorious 
period of the Maratha kingdom will, I think, prove more 
interesting than its decline and fall. Maratha pre-eminence 
ended with the death of Madhavrao II. After the treaty of 
Bassein the Peshwa became a subordinate ally of the English. 
English readers who wish to read in more detail the events 
of Bajirao's reign will find them described at great length in 
Grant Duff. His immortal History of the Mahrattas, admirably 
edited by Mr. S. M. Edwardes, c.s.i., c.v.o., has recently 
been republished by the Oxford University Press, 


One of my critics complained that I had not given a full 
list of the authorities consulted by me at the end of each 
volume. I have tried to meet his wishes by giving a list of 
authorities consulted (so far as it is possible in view of the 
wide reading involved in such a work) at the beginning of 
this volume. 

In the preface to my first volume I promised to include 
in the third volume a short account of the Maratha states 
between 1818 and the present day. This promise, I regret 
to say, I have been unable to keep. The publishers, for 
whose generous co-operation I am deeply grateful, think that 
the work is already long enough. I fear too, that, to use 
Michelet's words, L'dge me presse. I must leave to some 
other pen the task of writing the history of the Maratha states 
during the last hundred years. 

I conclude by repeating what I said in the last paragraph of 
the preface to the first volume, and by assuring my Indian 
readers, that I have done my best to avoid giving them offence. 
If by inadvertence I have done so, I trust that, they will extend 
to me their forgiveness. 

C. A. K. 



XLVIII. The Women's War and the Triumph of Balaji 

Peshvva ... ... ... ... ... ... 1 

XL1X. The War against the Nizam ... ... ... 12 

L. The Rise of the English and the Fall of Angre. 20 

LI. Balaji Triumphs over de Bussy ... ... ... 29 

LII. Events at Delhi from 1748 to 1760 ... ... 52 

LIII. Panipat and the Death of Balaji Peshwa ... 62 

LIV. The Accession of Madhavrao Ballal ... ... 80 

LV. Madhavrao's First and Second Mysore Wars, and 

Second Civil War ... ... ... ... 89 

LVI. Madhavrao's Third Mysore War and Progress 

of Affairs at Delhi ... ... ... ... 96 

LVII. Narayanrao and Raghunathrao ... ... ... 102 

LVIII. Raghunathrao and the English ... ... ... 112 

LIX. The Pretender and the English War ... ... 117 

LX. Moroba Phadnavis' Conspiracy and the English 

Invasion ... ... ... ... ... ... 124 

LXI. Renewal of the English War ... ... ... 132 

LXII. Wars against Tipu ... ... ... ... 147 

LXIII. Career and Death of Madhavrao Sindia ... 159 
LXIV. War against Nizam All Death of Savai Madhav- 
rao ... ... ... ... ... ... 170 

LXV. The Accession of Bajirao II ... ... ... 183 

L.XVI. Civil Wars and Wars against the English ... 191 

LXVII. The Reign of Bajirao II ... ... ... ... 207 

LXVII1. The End of the Chitpavan Epic... ... ... 218 


Ahmadshah Durani Frontispiece 


Sadashivrao Bhau 16 

Surajmal, King of the Jats 63 

Madhavrao Peshwa 81 

Narayanrao Peshwa 104 

Raghunathrao Balaji, Pandit Pradhan, Peshwa of the Maratha 
Empire 139 

Madhavrao Sindia , 168 

Balaji Pandit Nana Phaduavis 168 

Tippoo Sultan 188 


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Bhandarkar, Deccan, Bombay ; Vaishnavism, Saivism and 

Minor Religious Systems, Strassburg, 1913. 
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Briggs, Ferishta, Calcutta, 1908; The Siyar id Mutakherin 

vol. 1, Murray, London. 
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1809, Constable, London. 
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Historians, London, 1867. 


Elphinstone, M., History of India, London, 1874. 

Forbes, A. K., Rasmala, London, 1878. 

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Allahabad, 1907. 
Hamilton, A New Account of the East Indies, London, 1744. 
Hamilton, History of the Rohilla Afghans, London. 
Heber, R., Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Pro- 
vinces of India, London, 1861. 
Imperial Gazetteer of India, Clarendon Press, 1907, 1908. 
Irvine's History of the Nazvabs of Farrukabad, London. 
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Keene, H. G., The Fall of the Moghul Empire, London, 1887 ; 

The Great Anarchy, Thacker & Co., London, 1901 ; Life of 

Madhavrao Sindia, Oxford University Press, 1911. 
Kincaid, C. A., Ishtur Phakde, ' Times of India Press ' ; Tales 

of the Saints of Pandharpur, Oxford University Press. 
Lane Poole, S., History of the Moghul Emperors of Hindustan, 

London, 1892 ; Aurangzib, Clarendon Press, 1893. 
Low, History of the Indian Navy, London, 1877. 
Macauliffe, M. A., The Sikh Religion, Clarendon Press, 1909. 
Maclean, J. M., Guide to Bombay, 1875. 
Macnicol, N., Indian Theism, Clarendon Press, 1915. 
Malabari, P. B., Bombay in the Making, Unwin, 1910. 
Malcolm, Sir J., Memoir of Central India, London, 1832. 
Malleson, G. B., History of the French in India, London. 
Manucci, N.-, Storia do Mogor, London, 1907-1908. 
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1782 ; History of Hindustan, London, 1783. 
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days, 1921, Bombay. 


Ranade, Rise of the Marat ha Power, Bombay, 1900. 

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4 vols. ; Shivaji and his Times, Calcutta, 1919. 
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Official, Oxford University Press, 1915. 
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Madras, 1869. 


Atre, M. M., Malharrao Holkar yanche Charilra, Poona, 1893, 
Bakhars : — 

Bakhar of Pilaji Gaikvad. 

Bakhar of the Dabhades. 

Chitnis Bakhar. 

Shivdigvijaya Bakhar. 

Sabhasad Bakhar. 

Panipat Bakhar. 

Bhavsahib 's Bakhar. 

Harivanshanchi Bakhar. 

Shedgaonkar Bakhar. 

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Namdev's Charitra. 

Ramdas 1 Dasbodh. 

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Ismail Gracias : Uma Dona Portugueza na corte do grao Mogol ; 
Os ultimos cinco generaes do norte ; O Oriente Portuguese. 


Karan Ghelo, by Mr. Nandashankar. 



A. D. 1750 to 1751 

In the late monsoon of 1750 the Peshwa with a large force 
entered the territories of the Nizam. Ostensibly he was 
acting as the ally of Nasir Jang. His real aim was to reduce 
the Nizam's territories to Maratha rule. In September 1750 
Raghuji Bhosle received from the Peshwa a robe of honour 
and sent his son Janoji with the vanguard of the Maratha 
army to Nasir Jang's assistance. The combined force de- 
feated Muzaffir Jang and took him prisoner. Then the tide 
turned. On the 5th December, 1750, Nasir Jang was killed 
in battle against the French, whose rapid rise the Peshwa had 
observed with growing resentment. Through a Krikakolam 
Brahman named Ramdas, in high office at the Nizam's court, 
he entered into negotiations with Sayad Lashkar Khan, the 
Governor of Aurangabad. The Peshwa was willing to support 
either a brother or son of Nasir Jang, as Sayad Lashkar Khan 
might wish. The Sayad chose Ghazi-ud-din, the eldest son 
of Nizam-ul-Mulk, who, in view of his own prospects at the 
imperial court, had not actively opposed the succession of 
Nasir Jang. He now, in return for Maratha support, offered 
to cede to them the subhas of Aurangabad and Burhanpur. 
On receiving Lashkar Khan's reply, the Peshwa prepared to 
march. On the 29th January, 1751, he left Poona, and on the 
12th February he was before Aurangabad, which he invested. 
Sayad Lashkar Khan paid him seventeen lakhs of rupees, 
ostensibly to raise the siege, but really to assist his enter- 
prise. The Maratha army then spread over the country and 
effectively occupied the two districts, Aurangabad and Burhan- 
pur, offered by Ghazi-ud-din. Salabat Jang, who was still 
with de Bussy in the Carnatic, marched northwards to oppose 
the Peshwa. On hearing of his advance, the Marathas con- 
centrated on the Krishna and thence moved on Haidarabad. 


But while Balaji was still at Pangal, seven marches from 
Haidarabad, he received the most alarming news from Satara. 
He had recently attached but little importance to the conduct 
of Tarabai. He was not unwilling that Ramraja should remain 
for some little time in custody in Satara fort, if only to make 
him appreciate more highly his release. But he now learnt 
that Tarabai, in league with Uamaji Gaikvad, was threatening 
the whole fabric of the power bequeathed to him by Shahu. 
He resolved to desert the cause of Ghazi-ud-din and to return 
to Poona. With his usual address he hid his anxiety from 
his comrades in the field ; but he directed Janoji Nimbalkar 
to make the best terms he could with the enemy. Salabat 
Jang, who was ignorant of Balaji's fears, offered, to secure the 
Peshwa's departure, seventeen lakhs, two in cash and the rest 
in bills on bankers in Haidarabad, Aurangabad and Burhanpur. 
To his surprise and joy, Balaji accepted his offer and evacuated 
his dominions. 

The events that had occurred in the Peshwa's absence on 
field service resembled the war known in French history as 
the Fronde. The plot was woven and the rebel armies were 
organised and equipped by women, although it must be 
conceded that the characters of the Maratha ladies differed 
widely from those of Mme de Chevreuse or Mme de Longue- 
ville. Umabai, the widow of Khanderao Dabhade had, in spite 
of her pretended reconciliation with the Peshwa, never for- 
given Bajirao or his son Balaji for the defeat of Dabhai or 
the death of her eldest son, the gallant Trimbakrao. She had 
openly disregarded the terms on which Shahu had pardoned 
her family and had continuously withheld the half share of 
the royal revenues due to the royal treasury. So long as 
Shahu lived, he would permit no extreme measures ; but on 
the king's death, Balaji, faced with an empty treasury and 
a foreign war, determined to reduce to obedience the house 
of Dabhade. Umabai made public complaints against the 
Peshwa's demands and affected incurable grief at the loss 
of her protector, the Maratha king. Tarabai saw in Umabai 
a ready ally. She planned a meeting with her and in the rainy 
season of 1750 the two women met. Umabai agreed to put 
the forces of Guzarat at the disposal of Tarabai, provided her 
final appeals to Balaji to release the Dabhades from their 


covenant failed. On the 1st October, 1750, the Maratha 
kdies met again at the temple of Shambhu Mahadev. The 
power of the Pant Sachiv and the Pratinidhi had been broken, 
and it is possible that at this interview the plot against 
Ramraja's person was hatched. On the 20th October, 1750 
Umabai instructed her agent, Yado Mahadev Nirgude, to ask 
the Peshwa to reconsider his claim. Balaji haughtily replied 
that, so far from reconsidering the covenant of the Dabhades, 
he meant at once to enforce it. In the agent's presence he 
formally invested his kamavisdars with powers to collect half 
the revenues of Guzarat and bade them leave immediately for 
that province. Directly they had left the audience chamber, 
Yado Mahadev angrily withdrew, rudely refusing the formal 
present of clothes usually offered and accepted on such 
occasions. Umabai, unwilling to rebel, if she could attain her 
ends by other means, demanded and obtained a personal 
interview. On the 22nd November, the great Maratha lady 
met the Chitpavan minister at Alandi. After the preliminary 
civilities, Umabai pleaded her son's rights and repudiated the 
terms imposed on them after Dabhai. Extorted by force, so 
she contended, they were not binding. The Peshwa was more 
polite to her than to Yado Mahadev, but the gist of his answer 
was the same. Nothing would alter his resolve to divert into 
the royal coffers half the income of Guzarat. Umabai bade 
the Peshwa a dignified farewell. Two days later Tarabai at 
Satara seized the person of Ramraja. 

On the assassination of Pilaji Gaikvad, his son Damaji, who 
early shewed great promise, was confirmed in his father's 
offices. As Yashwantrao Dabhade yielded more and more 
to the use of drink and opium, Damaji' s power grew. To 
him was now given the command of an army equipped by 
Umabai to effect a junction with Tarabai and to break the 
power of the Peshwa. On her side Tarabai was not inactive. 
She increased the garrison of Satara by five thousand men, 
placed a strong contingent on the summit of Yeoteshwar hill, 
and garrisoned other strong places in the neighbourhood of the 
fort. She implored help from the Pratinidhi and the Pant 
vSachiv, and sent emissaries to Ramdas, the Brahman in Salabat 
Jang's service, offering him the office of Peshwa if he would 
advance with the Nizam's army to her help. Unfortunately 


for her plot, the Pratinidhi and the Pant Sachiv thought that 
they had suffered enough in her cause, while the Peshwa's 
treaty with the Nizam stopped the advance of troops from the 
Moghul Deccan. DamajiGaikvad advanced with great speed at 
the head of an army of fifteen thousand Maratha and Guzarati 
troops. His first intention seems to have been to march on 
Poona. On the 7th March, he encamped with his army at the 
village of Asbota. A wild panic seized the inhabitants of the 
capital. At early dawn on the 8th March, Radhabai and 
Kashibai, the Peshwa's grandmother and mother, fled from 
Poona to Sinhgad. On the same day the Guzarat army halted 
at Kendur, a large market town twenty miles south-west of 
Sirur. It was once given by Bajirao Balaji to his beloved 
Mastani. Here Yashwantrao Dabhade joined the force and 
stimulated it by his presence, although he left the command 
with Damaji Gaikvad. On the 10th, the army halted at 
Nimbgaon, six miles south-east of Khed. On the 11th it 
encamped at Pargaon, some thirty miles east of Poona. Here 
the Guzarat general received a letter signed by Mahadji 
Purandare, who denounced him as a traitor. Thereupon 
Damaji Gaikvad changed his course and marched straight on 
Satara. On the 13th March, Mahadji Purandare's brother, 
Trimbakrao 1 led a strong force out of Poona to intercept him. 
Purandare came up with Damaji Gaikvad on the Salpa pass. 
He had by this time been joined by contingents under Balwant- 
rao Mehendale and Bapuji Retharekar and his troops numbered 
twenty thousand. He attacked Damaji Gaikvad in irresolute 
fashion and was repulsed. 2 He retired on Nimb, a small 
town some eight miles north of Satara. Thither Damaji 
Gaikvad followed and defeated him. From the scene of the 
victory, the Guzarat army marched in triumph to Satara. 
Damaji Gaikvad was received in state by Tarabai and several 
of the neighbouring forts declared for her. The rebel's 
triumph, however, was short-lived. Trimbakrao re-formed his 
army and on the 15th March, led it once more to the attack. 
The Gaikvad's troops met Purandare's on the banks of the 

T Usually called Nana Sahib Purandare in the Maratha chronicles. 

2 Grant Duff. In this chapter I have followed in the main the 
Riyasat ; but as regards the scenes of the fighting, Grant Duff is, I 
think, to be preferred. 


Yenna. This time the larger numbers of the royal army 
prevailed. The Gaikvacl was forced to retreat with the loss 
of most of his transport and camp equipage. He retreated 
towards the Krishna valley. 1 At its mouth stands Wai. 
This picturesque township is built on both sides of the 
Krishna river, which swells during the rainy season into a 
mighty stream. Even in the hot weather the Krishna never 
wholly dries up, and year in and year out the score of temples 
that stand on its banks are mirrored in its clear and brimming 
pools. The polished Brahmans have a tradition that their 
town is none other than the ancient Viratnagar, the city 
famous in the Mahabharata as the hiding-place of Yudh- 
ishthira, his four brothers and his wife Draupadi. The ancient 
palace of king Virata, so they will tell the curious visitor, 
stood on the top of Pandugad, a great fortress close to Wai. 
On its eastern slopes a small temple marks the spot where 
the evil prince Kichaka, lured to his doom by the lovely and 
virtuous Draupadi, went to meet her at a spot chosen by 
herself. He found awaiting him, not the princess whom he 
expected, but her terrible husband, Bhima. It was also from 
Viratnagar that Yudhishthira and his brothers set forth to the 
stricken field of Kurukshetra, whereon India's chivalry all but 
perished for ever. As the traveller advances westward up the 
valley, it narrows ; the river grows smaller and the hills on 
either side become wilder and the forests on them thicker. 
At last the gorge ends in a blind alley, blocked by a ridge 
a thousand feet high, which divides the Konkan from the 
Deccan plateau. The ridge is covered with dense jungle, 
even now the haunt of sambhar and panther, wild dog and 
wolf ; and in its depths are to be found the true sources of 
the Krishna river. 

1 There is some doubt as to the line of the Gaikvad's retreat. I have 
followed the Chitnis Bakhar, which says that he retreated to the Jor 
Khora, i.e. the Krishna valley. Grant Duff has done the same and so 
has Sir James Campbell in his Imperial Gazetteer. Mr. Sar Desai says 
in his Riyasat that Damaji retreated up the Mahadara valley, which lies 
to the south of Satara. The Indore copy of the Chitnis Bakhar men- 
tions the Medha Khora, i.e. the Yenna valley, as the scene of his flight 
and surrender. 


By a series of skilful actions the unhappy Gaikvad was 
driven further and further up-stream, until at last he could 
retreat no more. The narrow gorge furnished him with no 
supplies. Beyond it the Sarsubha, or governor of the 
Konkan, Ramaji Mahadev Biwalkar held the country in the 
Peshwa's interest. Damaji still communicated across the Maha- 
bleshwar plateau with Tarabai's garrison at Yeoteshwar. At 
last even this narrow door was closed. The Peshwa advanced 
with lightning speed from the Moghul frontier. In thirteen 
days he covered four hundred miles. The news of Purandare's 
victory reached him at Nizamkonda. On the 24th April, he 
was at Satara. He at once stormed Yeoteshwar, and killed or 
took the garrison. He then drove in Tarabai's outposts, 
recaptured the lost forts and joined Purandare in the Krishna 
valley. Damaji Gaikvad gave way to despair. His Maratha 
soldiers deserted and fled as best they could over the wild 
hills ; the Guzarat troops, ignorant of the locality, lost 
all heart. He sent to the Peshwa a messenger begging for 
terms of peace. Balaji affected to welcome the messenger 
and sent as his envoys Trimbakrao, Purandare and 
Ram chandra Shenvi. 1 They invited Damaji to return with 
them to the Peshwa's camp and he did so. The Peshwa bade 
Damaji pitch his tents close to his own, that they might 
amicably discuss the terms of peace. When Damaji had 
obeyed, the Peshwa demanded the definite cession of half 
Guzarat and an indemnity of twenty-five lakhs. Damaji 
refused, pleading that he was a mere subordinate, and referred 
Balaji to Umabai. As nothing would move Damaji from this 
position, the Peshwa changed his tactics. On the 30th April 
he attacked, in spite of the armistice, the Gaikvad's camp, 
shortly before the dinner hour. The Guzarat troops, 
completely surprised, offered no resistance. 

Damaji was captured in his bath. With him were taken 
his brother Khanderao, his eldest son Sayaji, his minister 
Ramchandra Baswant, Yashwantrao and Umabai Dabhade. 
Damaji's three youngest sons, Govindrao, Manaji and 
Fatehsing, fortunately for them, were staying with Tarabai in 

See chapter xlix. 


Satara. The prisoners were sent ahead to Poona, while the 
Peshwa invested Satara fort and vainly pressed the old queen 
to release Ramraja. That unfortunate prince's condition had 
grown worse with the failure of Tarabai's plans. Unable to 
induce him publicly to remove Balaji from his office, she 
confined him in a damp, cold dungeon. After the defeat of 
the Gaikvad, she vented her full spite on the wretched prince. 
She fed him with the coarsest grain, insulted him daily and 
openly spoke of him as an impostor — a mere gondhali whom 
she had in a foolish moment presented to Shahu as her 
grandson. Ramraja's spirit, never of the highest, drooped 
under this treatment. His health and mind suffered and he 
soon became (what Tarabai wanted him to become) unfit to 
sit on the throne of his forefathers. 

Satara was well provisioned and of great strength. A 
siege would have lasted for months and could hardly have 
ended before the monsoon, which in Satara bursts in the first 
week of June. Balaji therefore turned his face northwards and 
marched to Poona. During the rainy season of 1751, he tried 
to induce Damaji Gaikvad to cede on behalf of Yashwantrao 
Dabhade half the lands of Guzarat. This Damaji, as often as 
asked, refused to do, and counter-intrigued with Dabhade and 
Tarabai to compass the Peshwa' s destruction. At last Balaji 
lost patience. On the 19th July, 1751, he placed Damaji and his 
Diwan, Ramchandra Baswant, in strict confinement. On the 
14th November, he sent them to Lohgad and Khanderao 
Gaikvad to Sinhgad. Some weeks later Ramchandra Baswant 
escaped in disguise and made his way to Guzarat. His 
presence there revived the hopes of the Gaikvad family. He 
and his cousin, Balaji Yamaji met the Gaikvad's relatives, 
agents and servants at the great fort of Songad. In 
the cold weather Balaji sent his brother Raghunathrao, a 
brave and skilful captain, to reduce Guzarat to obedience. 
Raghunathrao recovered the revenues of Surat, but he could 
not penetrate north of the Tapti; while the Governor of Bassein, 
Shankarji Keshav Phadke was, on laying siege to Parner, 
attacked, routed and driven from the province. These mishaps 
made the Peshwa still more anxious to come to terms. On 
the other hand confinement was preying on Damaji. He had 
been put in irons since Ramchandra Baswant's escape. His 


sons, at first safe with Tarabai, were afterwards barely saved 
from her venomous temper by Govindrao Chitnis ; while 
Balaji was successfully tempting Khanderao Gaikvad from his 
allegiance to Damaji. In these circumstances both parties 
sought a means of reconciliation. They found a mediator in 
Ramchandra Shenvi. In March, 1752, Damaji, yielding to 
his instance, abandoned the cause of the Dabhades, his 
masters. He consented to cede a half of Guzarat and of all 
his future conquests, to pay a yearly tribute of Rs. 5,25,000 
and as arrears Rs. 15,00,000, to maintain for the Peshwa's 
service ten thousand horses and to send to the Dabhade family a 
yearly sum sufficient to maintain them in dignified comfort. 
On his side the Peshwa promised to aid in the capture of 
Ahmadabad and the expulsion of the Moghuls from Guzarat. 
He also conferred on Damaji Gaikvad the title of Sena Khas 
Khel, to which the Maharajas of Baroda still attach great 

On the 10th December, 1752, an army commanded by 
Raghunathrao set out for Guzarat. With him went Vithal 
Shivdev, the founder of the Vinchurkar family, while Malharrao 
Holkar, Jayappa Sindia, a son of Ranoji, and Powar led con- 
tingents in the field. Forming a junction with Damaji Gaikvad, 
the combined forces, at least fifty thousand strong, invested 
Ahmadabad. The Moghul commander, Jawan Mard Khan Babi, 
was absent at Palanpur. He skilfully passed through the 
Maratha lines and threw himself into Ahmadabad. His 
defence of the town was loyal and resolute. At one time the 
Marathas mined the fortifications, but without result. At 
another they smuggled into the town seven hundred soldiers. 
These were discovered and slaughtered. At last, in March, 
1753, Jawan Mard Khan Babi surrendered Ahmadabad. In 
exchange he and his brothers were confirmed in their posses- 
sions in Kathiawar, Balasinor and Radhanpur. Shripatrao 
Bapuji was appointed by the Peshwa Governor of Ahmadabad ; 
but one gate of the city was entrusted to the keeping of the 
Gaikvad. In July, 1756, Momin Khan, Nawab of Cambay, 
with a body of Moghul troops occupied Ahmadabad in the 
absence of Shripatrao Bapuji at the Poona court. But Sadashiv, 
the son of Ramchandra Shenvi, sent by the Peshwa, was in 
October, 1757, with Damaji Gaikvad's help, able to dislodge 


him. Thereafter the town remained in the undisturbed 
keeping of the Marathas. * 

Thus agreeably to the Peshwa's good fortune ended the 
Women's War. Umabai 2 and the Dabhades were reduced to 
impotence and poverty. Even Tarabai was not unaffected. 
She felt that she could not indefinitely defy the Peshwa. She 
had quelled a rising of the garrison by seizing and beheading 
their leader, Anandrao Jadhav. Such were her superhuman 
strength of will and vigour, that his fellow-conspirators, think- 
ing her an evil spirit and therefore invincible, let themselves 
be executed without resistance. Having thus established a 
reign of terror in Satara, she consented to meet the Peshwa in 
Poona. She did so with the greater confidence in that Raghuji 
Bhosle's son Janoji, who was in the neighbourhood of Poona 
with a powerful army, assured Tarabai of his support. Trust- 
ing in this assurance, the old queen went in high state to 
Poona. She was received by Balaji with the utmost deference, 
and, after a show of reluctance, she made her submission and 
agreed to dismiss Baburao Jadhav, whom she had left in com- 
mand behind her, and whom Balaji disliked. In return, Balaji 
left in her care her unfortunate grandson. He did, indeed, ask 
for Ramraja's release, but on this point the old beldame was 
obdurate ; and in the end the Peshwa decided, perhaps wisely, 
to sacrifice the king for the peace of the kingdom. Tarabai 
did not trust Balaji' s bare word and demanded that he should 
confirm it by an oath in the temple of Jejuri. That temple was 
not then the stately building, approached by a lofty staircase 
and adorned with shrines and parapets, that it now is. But it 
was nevertheless one of the holiest spots in the Deccan. It is 
sacred to the god Khandoba, of whom the following tale is 
related. Some Brahmans living near Jejuri were at one time 
tormented by a demon called Malla or Mallasur. In answer to 
their prayers, the god Shiva took shape as the warrior Khan- 
doba and slew Malla. On the latter's death both Khandoba 

1 Elliott, p. SO. 

2 Umabai died on 28th November, 1753. On her death Balaji took 
Yashwantrao into the Carnatic. The fatigues of the march proved too 
severe. He died near Miraj on 18th May, 1754, leaving a son, 
Trimbakrao Dabhade (Riyasat). 



and Malla were absorbed into the godhead. It was at this 
temple that Shivaji had met his father Shahaji. Aurangzib's 
men-at-arms had tried to plunder it, but had been ignominiously 
driven out by a swarm of hornets that miraculously issued 
forth from a hole in the temple wall. The bigoted emperor, 
convinced against his reason of the power of a Hindu idol, 
had bestowed on it a diamond worth a lakh and a quarter. 
In this temple, hallowed by the reverence of millions, Tarabai 
and Balaji met. On the 14th September, 1752, they swore that 
they would abide by their mutual promises, and Tarabai further 
declared on oath that Ramraja was not her grandson, but a 
gondhali and a common impostor. This statement Balaji 
affected to believe, since it justified him in taking no further 
steps to obtain Ramraja's freedom. After the interview the 
high contracting parties returned to their respective strong- 
holds. Tarabai had indeed secured the perpetual custody of 
the king, but the real victory lay with the Peshwa. By a 
happy combination of courage and resource, skill and patience, 
he had defeated or disarmed all his enemies. The Chitpavan 
statesman was henceforth the sole ruler of the Maratha 



Letter from Balaji Peshwa to Nana Sahib Purandare 
giving an account of the Battle of Satara 

{Petrositis Collection) 
To Rajeshri Nana, 

With love and blessings from Balaji Bajirao. Your letter of the 28th 
Rabilakhar, sent with a messenger on camel, duly came to our hands on 
the 12th Jamadilavel. We came to know in detail the account of your 
fight with the Gaikvad in which he was routed and made to retreat to 
Gendya Mai ; and the capture of three-fourths of his irregulars together 
with camels, horses and palanquins. The contents of the letter greatly 
pleased us. The messenger told us that the Gaikvad 's camp was on 
the bank of the Yenna. Your camp is near the bank of the Krishna. 
Messrs. Manaji Paygude and Tatya also must have joined you in your 
camp. With your united efforts, do not allow the Gaikvad to escape. 

If the situation favours you, crash and defeat the Gaikvad's army and 
plunder him. Do not demobilize your forces till the Gaikvad is defeat- 
ed and routed. We came to an amicable settlement with the Moghuls. 
All our business in this part is finished. With regular marches, we have 
been able to encamp ourselves at Nizamkonda on the 12th Jamadilavel. 
We shall expedite our march and come there soon. Do not allow the 
Gaikvad to escape. It is no surprise to us, that while the battle was 
being fought, Sonji Bhaskar and men in the service of the Huzurat and 
Raja Huzurat showed wonderful bravery ; that Bapuji Baba was 
wounded with a sword, that Nagoram was wounded with shot, etc. It 
was in the fitness of things that these worthy soldiers rose to the 
occasion. For further conduct of the war, we fully rely on them. You 
should try to cheer everyone up. You won the victory in a battle which 
had been almost lost. You acquitted yourself in a way that would have 
befitted your ancestors. Your further manoeuvres to paralyse the foe 
should be regulated with great vigilance and caution. Exert yourselves 
to the utmost. We shall be coming soon. 



A. D. 1751 to 1752 

While Balaji was thus meeting with undaunted front the 
intrigues of Umabai and Tarabai and the army of Damaji 
Gaikvad, he was at the same time threatened by a domestic 
quarrel and a foreign war. The Peshwa saw that the feeling 
of the Maratha leaders opposed his reduction of Satara by 
force of arms. At the same time he realized more clearly 
than anyone the impossibility of ruling in harmony with the 
malignant Tarabai ; but his views were not shared by his 
cousin Sadashivrao. The latter wished for himself the post 
of Peshwa' s diwan and the ascendancy enjoyed in public 
affairs by his father, Chimnaji Appa. On the other hand, 
Balaji was unwilling to confer power on one who had so 
far shewn no proof of signal capacity. He had appointed 
Mahadji Purandare as his diwan and desired to keep him. 
His wife, Gopikabai, too, feared that the interests of her sons 
might suffer, if Sadashivrao obtained an undue influence over 
her husband. Thwarted in his ambition, Sadashivrao pressed 
on Balaji a further public reconciliation with Tarabai, but 
Balaji rejected his advice. The anger of the young Chit- 
pavan was fanned by the malice of Ramchandra Malhar Shenvi. 
Ramchandra had been Kulkarni of Aravali in Savantvadi, but, 
unable to meet his ruler's demands, had fled to Satara. Under 
Bajirao he had distinguished himself both in arms and in 
business and had been appointed by that Peshwa diwan to 
Ranoji Sindia. While the latter remained poor, Ramchandra 
Malhar Shenvi amassed a large fortune. On Ranoji's death, 
Ramchandra wished to be confirmed in his post ; but 
Jayappa Sindia had long been jealous of his power and saw 
with no favourable eye the splendour of his mode of life. At 
Poona Ramchandra lived in a seven-storied mansion built by 
himself, and his fame had spread throughout India, because 


of his donations to temples and public charities, and especi- 
ally because of the masonry works built by him on the banks 
of sacred rivers. The money that increased the glory of 
the minister had been, so Jayappa rightly guessed, pilfered 
from his master's revenues. Malharrao Holkar, the ruler of 
the neighbouring state, feared Ramchandra and also desired, 
although on different grounds, his removal. After his dis- 
missal by Sindia, Ramchandra was appointed diwan to Sada- 
shivrao. To his new master Ramchandra whispered that 
Sadashivrao's capacity was as great as his father's, and, sneer- 
ing at his cousinly love and obedience, urged him to demand his 
rightful place in the administration. On Balaji's refusal to 
dismiss Purandare, Ramchandra Malhar tempted Sadashivrao 
to secure at the court of Kolhapur a position equal to Balaji's 
at the court of Satara. Thus, urged the insinuating diwan, 
would Tarabai's plots be set at nought. Sambhaji would take 
the place of Ramraja and once more a Bhosle would rule as 
king. Mahadji Purandare, too, favoured the scheme, as by 
Sadashivrao's departure for Kolhapur he himself would re- 
main secure in his office. Behind his cousin's back, Sada- 
shivrao entered into a correspondence with Sambhaji. The 
king readily agreed to make Sadashivrao his Peshwa and offered 
him by way of salary a jaghir of five thousand rupees a year 
and the three forts of Pargad, Bhimgad and Wallabhagad. 1 
Jijabai, Sambhaji's queen, bitterly jealous of Tarabai, already 
counted on her rival's downfall ; but the clear vision of the 
Peshwa penetrated the schemes of the conspirators. He so 
sternly upbraided Mahadji Purandare, that the latter in anger 
resigned his post, which the Peshwa at once bestowed on 
Sadashivrao. He attached Ramchandra Shenvi to his interest 
by appointing him his karbhari, but at the same time contrived 
to extort from him thirty-six lakhs of rupees. About Mahadji 
Purandare's future conduct the Peshwa felt grave doubts. 
But, although deeply hurt at the Peshwa's reprimand and the 
loss of his post, Purandare never wavered in his loyalty. As we 
have seen, he denounced as a traitor Damaji Gaikvad and sent 
his brother Trimbakrao in command of the force, that so 

1 Riyasat. Grant Duff gives the forts as Pargurh, Kallanidhee and 


signally defeated him. On the Dasara festival following the 
collapse of Damaji's rebellion, the Peshwa was publicly re- 
conciled to the Purandares and bestowed on them grants of 
land not inadequate to their great services. Ramchandra 
Malhar never again played a prominent part in public affairs. 
In 1752, he accompanied Balaji on a pilgrimage to Nasik on 
the Godavari river. The occasion was the Sinhast, the period 
when at the end of every twelve years the planet Jupiter 
enters the sign of the zodiac Leo. Thousands of pilgrims 
flock to the sacred river ; for then, so it is believed, the 
Ganges pays her fairer but slighter sister a visit and joins her 
waters to those of the Godavari. Subsequently Ramchandra 
was entrusted with a small command, but achieved nothing 
noteworthy. At last the Peshwa, sure of Sadashivrao, dis- 
missed from his service the unlucky Shenvi. In July, 1754. 
Ramchandra went on a pilgrimage to Pandharpur, but at the 
end of September he fell ill. On the 1st October, he was 
struck down by paralysis. Unconscious for three days, he 
died on the 4th October, 1754. He was burnt at Onkareshwar, 
the great burning-ghat reserved at Poona for the Brahman 
caste, and on his pyre his wife Dwarkabai burnt herself as 
a sati. 

As I have related, the Peshwa had undertaken, in return for 
the cession of the districts of Aurangabad and Burhanpur, the 
elevation of Ghazi-ud-din to the throne of Asaf Jah. 1 ' The 
invasion of the Deccan by Damaji Gaikvad had forced the 
Peshwa to retreat. Once Damaji had surrendered, the Peshwa 
resolved to renew his interrupted campaign. He had received, 

1 Asaf Jah, the title of the Nizam, means one who is an Asaf in 
dignity. According to an old Musulman legend, Asaf, the son of 
Barachia, was the vazir of King Solomon and was renowned for his 
prudence and wisdom. Two instances are given in the Koran of his 
superhuman intelligence. On one occasion he contrived to bring 
underground to Jerusalem the throne of Balkis, the Queen of Sheba, 
by pronouncing the ineffable hundredth name of God, which he alone 
knew. On another occasion he discovered the wickedness of Jerada, 
the daughter of the King of Sidon. When Solomon had slain her 
father, he married Jerada. But in spite of her wedlock to a true 
believer, she and her maids secretly set up and worshipped the image 
of the dead king. Her wickedness was established by Asaf and 
adequately punished by King Solomon. 


it is true, from Salabat Jang a cash payment of two 
lakhs ; but the bills on the bankers for fifteen lakhs had not 
been honoured and Ramdas had put Balaji off with false 
excuses, and, to make matters worse, had recently plundered a 
Maratha convoy. The Peshwa ordered Holkar and Sindia to 
join Ghazi-ud-din and to effect a junction with himself near 
Aurangabad, now occupied by Salabat Jang and his French 
allies. The news of this fresh campaign filled the Nizam and 
his advisers with consternation and dismay. But it was in 
the hour of danger that the courage of de Bussy rose to its 
greatest height. " Care nothing," he said to his trembling 
master, " care nothing for the invading army ; you will best 
preserve the Deccan by marching on Poona." With cool 
audacity the French general unfolded his plan and such was 
his influence that he overcame the fears of Salabat Jang. 
Leaving Aurangabad to its fate, the Moghul prince moved 
on to Golconda, and, after some days spent there in prepara- 
tion, he marched through Pabal, Khedal and Ahmadnagar to 
Bedar on the road to Poona. As he marched, he contrived to 
send messages to Tarabai at Satara and received from the 
treacherous old queen favourable and encouraging replies. 
Near Parner de Bussy learnt of the approach of a Maratha 
army. Balaji, angered at the boldness of the Nizam's plan, 
had been sufficiently affected by it to detach forty thousand 
picked horsemen from the main army and lead them in 
pursuit. The Moghul forces consisted of large irregular levies, 
quite unfit to meet Balaji's cavalry. But with them were five 
hundred French infantry and five thousand highly disciplined 
sepoys led by French officers. On the news of the enemy's 
vicinity the Musulmans formed up to await the Maratha attack. 
De Bussy seized some heights on one of the flanks and put 
his field-pieces on them, so as to command the ground across 
which the Peshwa must charge. In support of the guns he 
drew up his disciplined infantry. Balaji attacked the Moghuls 
in the usual Maratha fashion, testing the whole line before 
charging home. But these proved bad tactics in face of the 
rapid shooting of the French cannon and the continuous fire 
of their drilled riflemen. The Maratha army after suffering 
some loss disappeared. De Bussy led the Moghuls on Poona, 
destroying all the villages through which they passed. The 


Peshwa retaliated by getting his agents to spread among the 
Moghuls rumours of intended French treachery. De Bussy's 
answer was a brilliant coup de main. On the 22nd November, 
the Marathas were engaged at Kukadi in devotions inspired 
by an eclipse of the moon. Balaji, like most members of his 
family, was strict in his religious beliefs and encouraged his 
soldiers to pray to the Most High, to secure an early release 
of the moon from the clutches of the demon Ketu. While so 
engaged, they were surprised by de Bussy's trained troops. 
The Maratha army did not suffer heavily, but they abandoned 
their camp, from which the plundering Moghuls secured a 
considerable booty. Among their trophies were the golden 
utensils used by the Peshwa for himself and for his gods. 
On the 27th November, 1751, the French general took and 
sacked Ranjangaon and utterly destroyed Talegaon Damdhere. 
De Bussy's plan of campaign had succeeded. So far from 
invading the Nizam's dominions, Balaji was perplexed how 
to save Poona. He reinforced his army by summoning to it 
the Sindia contingent, led by Dattaji and Madhavrao Sindia, 
two sons of Ranoji Sindia ; and on the 27th November, 1751, 
he attacked the Moghul army on the banks of the Ghodnadi 
river with the utmost determination. The Maratha attack 
was led by Mahadji Purandare, Dattaji and Madhavrao 
Sindia and Kanherrao Trimbak Ekbote, a native of Purandar. 
A peculiar interest attaches to the last-named of the four leaders. 
On this day his gallantry was so splendid that, on the demand 
of the army, the Peshwa conferred on him the title of " Phakde " 
or " the brave ". This title, or rather nickname, was only con- 
ferred three times by the Marathas and then only by the 
unanimous judgment of the troops. It entitled the recipient 
to wear a silver bangle on his horse's foreleg. The other 
two gallant men, who were similarly honoured, were Manaji 
Sindia and Captain James Stewart, still known to Maratha 
writers as Ishtur Phakde. We shall hear of them later. 
Kanherrao Phakde, as he was always known after the battle of 
Ghodnadi, lived for five years to enjoy his high reputation. 
In May, 1756, he was killed before Savanur by the side of 
Sadashivrao, the Peshwa's cousin. 

So vigorous was the Maratha charge that Salabat Jang's 
levies were completely overwhelmed. The day was saved by 


[To fare page 76.] 


de Bussy. Changing his front, he brought his guns to bear 
on the flank of the charging cavalry with such effect that he 
enabled the Moghuls to rally ; and, although the Maratha 
losses were far less than those of their enemies, they eventually 
withdrew from the field, taking with them Salabat Jang's 
howdah, four elephants and seven hundred horses. The next 
day de Bussy pressed on to Koregaon on the river Bhima, a 
little town only sixteen miles from Poona. Balaji now decided 
to follow his foe's example and save his capital by carrying the 
war into his enemy's country. He directed Sadashivrao to 
enter into negotiations with the Nizam's Hindu diwan, Ramdas, 
to whom Dupleix had given the title of Raja Raghunathdas. 
The plenipotentiaries met, but the negotiations, no doubt at 
Balaji' s orders, were deliberately drawn out. Before any 
settlement was arrived at, the Nizam was dismayed to hear 
that the fort of Trimbak had been escaladed by a Maratha 
officer. While the Nizam vainly protested against the outrage 
and demanded the return of his property, news reached him 
that Raghuji Bhosle was overrunning, on his eastern frontier, 
the whole country between the Penganga and the Godavari. 
At the same time the Peshwa's agents fomented the dis- 
content of the Moghul soldiery, by charging de Bussy with 
embezzling their pay, which they had not received for several 
months. Salabat Jang's confidence in his French general was 
shaken and he ordered a retreat to Ahmadnagar. Having 
reached that town in safety, the Nizam's courage returned. 
He replenished his ammunition and collected siege guns for 
the recapture of Trimbak. He set out northwards, but he 
was so harassed on his march that he abandoned his enter- 
prise and once again sought de Bussy's counsel. That 
sagacious soldier saw that it was useless to continue the 
march on Trimbak. It was useless also to march on Poona, 
for the Moghuls had turned their backs on it and were now 
sixty miles away. He advised his master to ask for an 
armistice and thus secure his retreat to his own dominions. 
The Nizam took his advice. On the 7th January, Balaji at 
Shingwa granted an armistice in return for a promised cession 
of land. Salabat Jang sent some cakes, and his diwan, Raja 
Raghunathdas, sent some tulsi leaves as a proof of their good 
faith ; and the lately victorious army retreated across their 


own frontier. Salabat Jang was still in grave peril. His 
army was mutinous for want of pay, and during the homeward 
march Raja Raghunathdas was assassinated by some Afghan 
soldiers, with whose commander he had quarrelled. On 
de Bussy's advice the Nizam replaced the dead diwan by 
Sayad Lashkar Khan, the former governor of Aurangabad ; 
but it was still impossible to enter that city. Ghazi-ud-din, 
supported by Holkar and the main Maratha army, had occupied 
it with 1,50,000 men. To his cause had rallied the Moghul 
gentry of Aurangabad and Burhanpur ; and even Salabat Jang 
felt qualms about his right to supersede his elder brother. 
Indeed, he would in all probability have yielded to the persua- 
sion of Sayad Lashkar Khan, who was a secret adherent of 
Ghazi-ud-din, and surrendered his throne in exchange for a 
landed estate. The Marathas would have acquired Auranga- 
bad and Burhanpur under their agreement, and Ghazi-ud-din 
would have become the new autocrat of the Deccan. But this 
arrangement, which would have been fatal to French in- 
fluence, was suddenly rendered impossible by the death of 
the viceroy-designate. At Aurangabad in the ancient palace 
of the subhedars lived one of the widows of the great Nizam- 
ul-Mulk. She had borne her husband one son, Nizam Ali ; 
and it was the darling wish of her heart to see her son succeed 
to his father's office. Two obstacles stood in his way. One, 
Salabat Jang, was safe with de Bussy and the army. The 
other, Ghazi-ud-din, was close at hand. On the 16th October, 
1752, she invited her stepson to dinner and insisted on his 
partaking of one dish, which she said with truth she had 
prepared herself. The unfortunate claimant, suspecting 
nothing, ate of it freely ; the same night he died of poison. 
Salabat Jang had now no elder brother to dispute his claim. 
But the Maratha leaders insisted on his carrying out Ghazi- 
ud-din's engagements. In this they were supported by the 
Moghuls of Burhanpur, who, after the help given by them 
to Ghazi-ud-din, were afraid to remain Salabat Jang's subjects. 
The viceroy left the decision to de Bussy. The French 
general preferred a solid peace to a doubtful war and advised 
the surrender of a considerable tract of land, provided Raghuji 
Bhosle first withdrew from the eastern provinces. Balaji 
ordered Raghuji Bhosle to do so. He complied. Thus, 


in spite of de Bussy's genius and of French valour, the Peshwa 
acquired in this war the sacred town and fort of Trimbak 
and the whole country west of Berar from the Tapti to the 
Godavari. 1 

1 This treaty is known in history as the treaty of Bhalki. It was 
concluded on the 25th November, 1752. 



A. D. 1751 to 1757 

Among my readers there must be many who, reading of the 
inability of the English to take Angre's fortresses and of their 
wavering and uncertain conduct during the siege of Bassein, 
have wondered how they came by their Indian Empire. The 
answer to that question is to be found in their struggles with 
the French in Southern India. In chapter xlvi I described 
how the gallant de Bussy, in face of tremendous odds, stormed 
the fortress of Jinji. From that disaster Mahomed Ali escap- 
ed ; afterwards he took shelter in Trichinopoli. In his despair 
he appealed to the English and they, correctly judging that the 
further growth of French power would mean their own expul- 
sion, resolved to answer his appeal. Their first efforts were 
not successful. A relieving force under Captain Gingens was 
defeated at Volkonda and in several subsequent engagements. 
In the meantime Chanda Sahib and his French allies closely 
besieged Trichinopoli, which, so far as man could foresee, 
was a doomed city. 

It was at this point that there appeared in the ranks of the 
English a genius of the first order. On the 29th September, 
1725, in the small Shropshire town of Market Drayton was born 
a sickly child, to whom his parents gave the name of Robert 
Clive. His father was a struggling solicitor, to whom the 
practice of the law had brought but little profit. Unwilling to 
condemn his son to a profession in which he had himself earned 
so little wealth, his attention was drawn to the East by the 
large fortunes brought home about that time by men engaged 
in Indian trade. He obtained for his son a writership in the 
service of the East India Company and on the 10th March, 
1743, the Wi?ichester, a 500-ton ship owned by the Company left 
the Thames, carrying on board the founder of the English em- 
pire in India. It was not until June, 1744, more than a year 

The rise of the English and the fall of angre 21 

later, that dive, a boy of seventeen, landed in Madras to begin 
his career. His salary was five pounds a year and his work 
consisted chiefly of trading on a small scale with Indian mer- 
chants and of attending long, compulsory services in church. 
A year or two of such a life would probably have killed Clive ; 
but on the 24th September, 1744, its monotony was broken by 
the news that France and England were again at war. 1 The 
fall of Madras and the siege of Pondicherry have already been 
related. It was at that siege that Clive, who had volunteered 
for active service, had his first real experience of war. He 
was present at the capture of Devicottah, stormed by the 
English on behalf of Shahaji, the Raja of Tanjore, who had been 
driven from his throne by his half-brother Pratapsing. He 
subsequently took part in the disastrous fight at Volkonda and 
barely escaped capture. But wherever he had served, his 
courage and resource had won him the high esteem of his 
commanding officers. So great was now his reputation, that 
he could without presumption submit to the Governor in 
Council a plan to restore the fallen fortunes of his country. 

Give's plan was at once simple and daring. It was to 
relieve Trichinopoli by a march into the enemy's country. 
Chanda Sahib in his anxiety to reduce his rival's last strong- 
hold had denuded his own capital, Arcot. Let the English 
take Arcot, said Clive, and Chanda Sahib would, to recover it, 
raise the siege of Trichinopoli. The Madras Council, domin- 
ated by his genius, approved his plan. On the 6th Septem- 
ber, 1751, Clive left Madras. On the 11th, he entered Arcot 
under cover of a thunderstorm, and the reduced garrison, 
terrified alike by the storm and the suddenness of the attack, 
fled without opposing him. The fall of Arcot had no effect on 
the serene mind of Dupleix and he ordered the siege of Trichi- 
nopoli to be pressed with greater vigour than before. But he 
could not soothe the fears of his ally. Chanda Sahib detached 
his son Raju Sahib with ten thousand men to win back the 
capital of the Carnatic. The details of the siege of Arcot live 
for ever in the glowing pages of Macaulay and need not be 
repeated here. It began on the 4th October, and on the 25th 

1 War was actually declared in March, 1744, but the news took six 
months to reach India. 


November the baffled besiegers retreated to Vellore. The 
valour of the defenders, aided by a body of Maratha horse 
under Murarirao Ghorpade, a great nephew of Santaji Ghor- 
pade, had triumphantly held against all assaults the great city. 
Clive now set himself to imitate the French methods of train- 
ing Indian soldiers. Fired by his spirit and subjected to strict 
discipline, the English sepoys soon became the equal of the 
French. Reinforcements came from England, success follow- 
ed success, until at last, on the 13th June, 1752, not Trichi- 
nopoli, but the besieging army of Chanda Sahib, surrendered 
to the English. Chanda Sahib was beheaded and Mahomed 
Ali was proclaimed by his English allies Nawab of the Carn- 
atic. The cost of this disastrous expedition alienated the 
sympathies of the French East India Company from Dupleix. 
They wanted not glory, but dividends, and, impatient at his 
failure to provide them, they resolved to recall him. They 
sent in his place a Monsieur Godeheu ; and on the 14th October, 
1754, the greatest Frenchman of his time left India for ever. 
Anxious to secure peace at any price, Godeheu directed his 
officers to act strictly on the defensive. The result was as 
might have been anticipated. The moral of the French armies 
declined, while that of the English armies rose. On the 13th 
December Monsieur Godeheu obtained from the Madras 
Government a contemptuous peace, by which he sacrificed 
the French claims in the Carnatic and recognized Mahomed 
Ali as Nawab. De Bussy's name was omitted from the treaty 
and he still remained supreme at the court of the Nizam, 
Salabat Jang. 

The success of the English arms against the French, for a 
short time deemed invincible, had deeply impressed the 
discerning mind of Balaji Bajirao. He resolved to use the 
English to remove French influence from the dominions of the 
Nizam, which he secretly hoped to annex to his own. He 
cultivated friendly relations with Mr. Bourchier, the Governor 
of Bombay, and invited him to join the Marathas in an attack 
on Janjira. This invitation Mr. Bourchier declined, pleading 
the long alliance between the English and the Sidis. In return 
he invited the Peshwa to join him in the destruction of the 
Angres. This proposal a man so far-sighted as the Peshwa 
would certainly not have accepted, had events not favoured the 


English. The quarrel between Sambhaji Angre and Manaji 
Angre had caused the war between king Shahu and the 
Portuguese, and had ended in the Maratha conquest of Salsette 
and Bassein. Sambhaji retained the fortresses of Suvarnadurg 
and Vijayadurg or Gheria. Kolaba remained with Manaji. 
Sambhaji had always kept near him his half-brother Tulaji, and 
on Sambhaji's death, not long after the fall of Bassein, Tulaji 
succeeded to Sambhaji's share of the great Kanhoji Angre's 
inheritance. Tulaji kept alive his brother's family feuds and 
added to them other feuds of his own making. He quarrelled 
with Sadashivrao and carried off the ladies of Manaji's house- 
hold. So outrageous was his conduct that Brahmendraswami 
felt constrained to write him a reproachful letter, in which he 
implored him to be reconciled with Manaji and to join with 
him in the destruction of the Sidis. 1 The shameless Tulaji, 
unmoved by this saintly epistle, continued to plunder the ships 
of all nations and even to levy contributions from the Peshwa's 
own territories. He affected to be the ally of Ramraja and of 
Tarabai, and defied the usurper, as he styled Balaji, to reduce 
him to obedience. Nor was it a light task to do so. Tulaji's 
infantry numbered thirty thousand. His numerous artillery 
was served by European gunners and his sixty war-ships were 
the terror of the Indian Ocean. To Ramaji Mahadev Biwalkar 
the turbulence of Tulaji Angre was particularly obnoxious. 
As Sarsubhadar of the Konkan, Ramaji Mahadev had jurisdic- 
tion over Salsette, Bassein, Thana and Kolaba. At Kalyan, his 
neadquarters, he built a stately mansion, still the home of his 
descendants. At Thana the temple of Koupineshwar still per- 
petuates his name, and in his house in that city British judges 
to-day dispense law and justice. It was Ramaji Mahadev's 
duty to collect the Angre tribute, but, so far from paying it, 
Angre cut off the noses of the unfortunate men sent to collect 
it. He followed up this insolence by storming the fort of 
Ratnagiri, held by Amatya Bawadekar in the Peshwa's inter- 
est. To punish the sea-rover was impossible, so long as he 
held the great forts of Suvarnadurg and Vijayadurg ; so, with 
a skill sharpened by hatred, Ramaji Mahadev strove to unite in 

1 See Appendix A. 


a league against Tulaji, his brother Manaji Angre, the English 
and the Peshwa. The alliance of the English and of Manaji 
was easily obtained. But the Peshwa was for long reluctant to 
call in foreign aid against a Maratha subject. At last Tulaji's 
excesses and Ramaji's instances won Balaji over. On the 19th 
March, 1755, a treaty was signed by the English and the Marathas. 
The English were to command the allied fleets. Their reward 
was to be the forts of Bankot and Himmatgad together with 
five villages and also half the ships captured by the allies. 
The remaining forts, with their treasures and armament, were 
to become the property of the Peshwa. On the 22nd March, 
1755, the English fleet weighed anchor. Their squadron con- 
sisted of the Protector, the Bombay, the Swallow, the Trmmph 
and the Viper. They were under the command of an able and 
skilful sailor, Commodore James. At Chaul, thirty miles from 
Bombay, the English squadron met the Maratha fleet. It 
numbered sixty-seven galleys and barges, locally known as 
gallivats and grabs. On board were ten thousand Maratha 
troops. On the 2nd April the allied fleet reached Suvarna- 
durg. Eighty miles south of Bombay, Suvarnadurg stood on 
a low irregular island about a quarter of a mile from the shore. 
The fortifications were built out of the solid rock and the 
channel was protected by three forts named Goa, Fatehdurg 
and Connoidurg. On the 2nd and 3rd April, Commodore 
James bombarded Angre's fortresses without result. On the 
4th April the outer strongholds struck their colours. Only 
Suvarnadurg remained. But for months past Ramaji Mahadev 
had been corrupting its garrison. Thus, when a landing party 
from the ships disembarked to carry it by storm, they n et 
with little or no resistance. 

On the fall of the outer forts, Tulaji had fled to Vijayadurg, 
where he remained in safety until the following year. The 
approach of the monsoon made Commodore James anxious to 
return to Bombay, which he did on the 17th May. Ramaji 
Mahadev, reinforced by a strong body of troops under 
Shamsher Bahadur, the son of Bajirao and Mastani, took all 
Tulaji's lands in the neighbourhood of the conquered fortress. 
Another detachment under Khandoji Mankar drove Tulaji's 
soldiers from the villages near Vijayadurg. The attack on 
Vijayadurg itself was postponed until the next dry season. 


In the meantime the English Government had decided to 
drive de Bussy from the Deccan. Their plan was to invade, 
together with an allied Maratha force, the Nizam's dominions, 
and force him to dismiss de Bussy. It was too far to do this 
from the Carnatic. The starting-point, therefore, of the 
English expedition was to be Bombay. In March, 1754, 
Admiral Watson sailed for the East Indies with six ships of 
the line. They had on board the 39th regiment of 700 men, 
and some 240 gunners and recruits for the Company's 
regiments. On the 23rd April, 1755, Clive, who had been to 
England to recruit his health, sailed for Bombay on the 
Stretham, one of a squadron of ships that carried several 
hundred more English soldiers. The second squadron reached 
Bombay in October, 1755, and found Admiral Watson's ships 
already in the harbour. Clive was the senior military officer 
and took command of the troops. He learnt to his dismay 
that the Bombay Government, alarmed at the cost of the 
expedition to the Nizam's dominions, had made the recent 
truce with Godeheu an excuse for abandoning it. They decided 
instead to use the expeditionary force for the reduction of 
Vijayadurg. That fortress stands about a hundred miles 
lower down the coast than Suvarnadurg. On the 7th February, 
1756, the fleet sailed from Bombay. Khandoji Mankar's force 
had been camped round Vijayadurg since the previous Novem- 
ber and was engaged with Tulaji Angre in negotiations for its 
surrender. On seeing the great strength of the English 
armada, Tulaji fled in terror from the doomed stronghold and 
took shelter in Khandoji Mankar's lines. Neither Khandoji 
Mankar nor Ramaji Mahadev wished any longer to storm 
Vijayadurg, since Tulaji was in their power and could be forced 
to surrender it at any moment. But the English commanders 
resented the separate negotiations of the Marathas, and on the 
12th April, 1756, their attack began. By 6-36 p.m. Angre's 
entire fleet had been destroyed and the English colours flew 
over Vijayadurg. Tulaji spent the rest of his life in captivity, 
first in Chandan Wandan fort near Satara and afterwards at 
Sholapur. The Peshwa annexed his lands. 

After this brilliant feat of arms Watson and his squadron 
sailed for Madras, which they reached on the 14th May, 1756. 
On the 22nd June, Clive was appointed Governor of Madras, 


On the 14th July, 1756, the news reached him that the Nawab of 
Bengal, Suraj-ud-Daulah had declared war on the English. It 
will be remembered that in 1750 Alia Vardi Khan ceded to the 
Marathas the province of Orissa by way of settlement for 
the chauth of Bengal. He lived for six years after making 
this cession, dying in 1756, at the ripe age of eighty. To his 
dying day he remained on friendly terms with the English, 
whose settlement, founded by Job Charnock at SatanathiHath, 
or the cotton thread market, had grown into the rich emporium 
of Calcutta. On Alia Vardi Khan's death his grandson 
Suraj-ud-Daulah succeeded him. He had seen with apprehen- 
sion the position reached by the English in the Carnatic and 
by the French at Aurangabad, and the fall of Vijayadurg 
added to his fears. The erection of fortifications round 
Calcutta and the refusal of the English merchants to surrender 
a certain Kishindas, his aunt's lover and a conspirator against 
his throne, furnished Suraj-ud-Daulah with an excuse ; and on 
the 28th May, 1756, he marched with thirty thousand men 
against Calcutta. 1 

In August the news of the declaration of war was confirmed 
by worse news still. On the 26th June, 1756, Calcutta had fallen 
after a three days' siege and the survivors of the garrison had, 
all save a handful, perished in the Black Hole. War was 
imminent between France and England. In Chandanagore 
was a large French garrison and at Aurangabad was de 
Bussy, the one man in India whose talents as a general 
equalled those of Clive. A junction between the French 
forces and the Nawab's army meant the permanent extinction 
of the English settlements in Bengal. The Peshwa seems to 
have been deeply shocked at the misfortunes of his allies. 
He begged Drake, the Governor of Calcutta, not to make peace 
with the Nawab, and offered him the assistance of 120,000 
horse. The offer was declined ; but Balaji redoubled his 
intrigues at Aurangabad, with the result that de Bussy, as we 
shall see hereafter, so far from being able to send help to 
Bengal, was forced to struggle for his very existence. On their 
side the English acted with promptitude and vigour. On the 

1 Forest's Life of Clive, p. 429. 

The rise of the English and the fall of angre 27 

9th December, Watson and Clive with an English army sailed 
up the Hughli. On the 2nd January, they retook Calcutta. 
With consummate skill, Clive lulled the Nawab with hopes of 
an alliance, while he prepared for an attack on Chandanagore. 
On the 23rd March, after a gallant defence, Chandanagore fell, 
and Clive marched against the Nawab. On the 23rd June, 
1757, was fought the memorable battle of Plassey. In a single 
day Clive overthrew the great structure reared by Alia Vardi 
Khan ; and the whole vast province of Bengal, towards which 
the Marathas had often cast longing eyes, became the spoil of 
the English merchants. In barely ten years the English had 
risen from petty traders to be the only real rivals of the 
Maratha people. 



Letter from Brahmendraswami to Tulaji Angre 

To Tulaji, after compliments,— You have committed a thousand 
crimes. I should never have addressed a line to you ; but I am writing 
this letter in the hope that you may be reconciled to Manaji, for, if 
you are, I shall have done a great thing. Send back to Manaji the 
ladies of his household. I have spoken to Manaji too, and I am sure 
that he will behave well, for I have examined his inmost heart. You 
are brothers and you should be friends and join in some great work ; 
and this we urge you to do. 

(Paras nis Collection) 



A. D. 1753 to 1757 

It is now necessary to revert to affairs in the Nizam's 
dominions and to Southern India. In the troubled times that 
followed the return of Shahu, the Maratha possessions in the 
south of India fell away one after the other. At first so large 
a number of petty chieftains assumed the title of nawab and 
established themselves at various spots, that the great Nizam- 
ul-Mulk threatened to scourge any officer who dared to call 
himself Nawab without the Nizam's permission. This drastic 
threat reduced the number of nawabs to five. Of these the 
greatest was the Nawab of the Carnatic ; then came the 
Afghan Nawabs of Kadapa, Sira, Kurnul and Savanur. In 
addition to the five nawabs, several Hindu rajas had made 
themselves independent ; of these the most important were 
the Rajas of Bednur and Tanjore. Bednur, according to local 
legend, had been founded in 1560 by two brothers who were 
known as Nayaks or headmen of the petty village of Kiladi, 
to the north-west of Maisur, or, as the English call it, Mysore. 1 
They happened to find a vampire's treasure and appeased the 
vampire by the sacrifice of a human victim. By means of 
their newly-gotten wealth they were able to conquer a strip of 
territory, for which they got a grant from the Raja of Vijaya- 
nagar. Their descendants moved to Ikkeri, where the Italian 
traveller Pietro della Valle met them. From Ikkeri Sivappa 
Nayak moved to Bidururu or the bamboo town, now known 
as Bednur. So great was the fortune of Sivappa Nayak and 
his descendants that at the beginning of the eighteenth century 
the Rajas of Bednur ruled over ten thousand square miles. 

On Shahaji's death, as already related, Vyankoji, the brother 
of Shivaji, became Raja of Tanjore. Vyankoji had three 

1 Maisur takes its name from Mahishasura, the buffalo-headed demon, 
slain by the goddess Parvati or Kali. 


sons, of whom Tukoji alone had issue. Two of Tukoji's 
sons survived him. One, Sayaji was legitimate ; the other, 
Pratapsing was the son of a concubine. Tukoji towards the end 
of his reign fell under the control of a Musulman officer. On 
his death the Musulman officer raised Sayaji to the throne, 
but in 1741 dispossessed him in favour of Pratapsing. The 
new prince was a man of some vigour and resource, and freed 
himself from his protector by assassination. Sayaji escaped 
to the shelter of Madras. 

At Gooti were established the family of Santaji Ghorpade. 
Their leader was the gallant Murarirao Ghorpade, Santaji's 
great nephew, by whose help Clive was able successfully to 
defend Arcot. Lastly, a new and powerful state had grown up 
round the great fort of Shrirangapatan or the town of the god 
Krishna, known to English writers as Seringapatam. The 
tale of its growth is shortly as follows : — 

At the close of the fourteenth century two Rajputs, Vijayaraj 
and Krishnaraj, who claimed descent from the divine Krishna, 
left their town, Dwarka, and journeyed south in search of 
adventure, romance and fortune. In the course of their 
wanderings they reached the town of Hadinad close to 
Mysore. At Hadinad they found what they had been seeking. 
The local Wadiar or prince had gone mad and a neighbouring 
chief demanded from him his daughter's hand or in the alter- 
native his family lands and possessions. The father's 
deranged mind was incapable either of consent or refusal. 
The prince's relatives appealed to the two young Rajputs, 
who by their craft slew the hateful suitor and by their valour 
seized his estate. As a reward Vijayaraj obtained the hand 
of the grateful princess, and he and his brother adopted the 
lingayat faith of their new subjects. For two hundred years 
Vijayaraj' s descendants were satisfied with their small 
principality. In 1565, the defeat and death of Ramraj, King of 
Vijayanagar, to whom they were subject, shook his kingdom 
to its foundations. It gradually fell to pieces and the former 
vassals of Vijayanagar strove with each other for the frag- 
ments. In 1609, Raj Wodiar, seventh in descent from Vijayaraj, 
seized the fortress of Shrirangapatan ; to celebrate this 
event he renounced the lingayat doctrines and he and his 
family became once more worshippers of the god Krishna. 


In 1699, the Emperor Aurangzib had planned the subjuga- 
tion of Mysore ; but the ruling chief, Chikka Devaraj, who 
had skilfully increased his territories at the expense of his 
neighbours, sent the Emperor so tactful an embassy that 
Aurangzib changed his mind and, receiving the chieftain's 
homage, gave him the title of Raja Jaga Deva and an ivory 
throne. Chikka Devaraj's successors were men without 
capacity and their power fell into the hands of their ministers. 
In 1733, the direct descent ended with the death of Dodda 
Krishnaraj, and thereafter the new chiefs were elected at the 
pleasure or the whim of their commanders-in-chief, best known 
by their official title of Dalwais. 1 

It will be remembered that, shortly after Bajirao's appoint- 
ment as Peshwa, a quarrel arose between him and Shripatrao 
the Pratinidhi as to the royal policy. The latter pressed for 
the consolidation of the Maratha possessions and then a 
re-conquest of Shivaji's southern acquisitions. Bajirao had 
successfully urged a direct thrust at the heart of the Moghul 
Empire. The thrust had been fatal. To use Balaji's own 
simile, the trunk had been struck 1 down and the branches had 
fallen of themselves. It only remained for the Marathas to 
gather them. This Balaji resolved to do and ' We must 
conquer the whole Deccan ' became the common catchword of 
the court and the army. Had Ghazi-ud-din lived and mounted 
the throne by the aid of Maratha arms, Balaji would surely 
have reached his goal. But behind Salabat Jang stood 
de Bussy with his French soldiers, and trained artillery and 
infantry, whose value had been shewn in the fighting of 1751. 
To the riddance, therefore, of de Bussy from the court of 
the Nizam, the Peshwa devoted all the resources of his acute 
and powerful mind. In his efforts he received ample help 
from his agent at the Nizam's court, Shyamji Govind Dikshit. 
So long as de Bussy remained at his post, Balaji's schemes 
made little headway. The fort at Haidarabad to which 
Salabat Jang had moved was at a safe distance from the 
Maratha frontier and was garrisoned by de Bussy's troops. 
Their cannon threatened the town ; at the same time, so 
strict was their discipline and so exemplary their conduct, 

1 See Appendix A for the genealogy of the chiefs of Mysore. 


that they won the esteem and affection of the townspeople. In 
1753, however, de Bussy was laid low by an illness so severe 
that a change to the sea-coast became necessary for his cure. 
He was carried to Machlipatan, now known as Masulipatam, 
a town near the mouth of the Krishna river, and his illness 
and departure gave his enemies their chance. On the 
assassination of Raja Raghunathdas, the post of Diwan to the 
Nizam had, as already related, fallen vacant and Salabat Jang 
had, on de Bussy's advice, appointed to it Sayad Lashkar 
Khan. This man's affected friendship had deceived de Bussy ; 
but he really detested the French because of theii overthrow 
of Nasir Jang, for whom Lashkar Khan had felt a deep 
affection. He was in constant correspondence with Balaji, and, 
as soon as de Bussy had left for the sea-coast, he began to 
work in the Peshwa's interest. He encouraged, nay pressed 
Goupil, de Bussy's lieutenant, to relax the strictness of his 
discipline. Drunkenness and disorder took the place of order 
and discipline, and the French soon became as hateful 
as formerly they had been popular. Sayad Lashkar Khan 
declared himself unable to pay the troops, and advised the 
officers to collect their pay by plundering the neighbouring 
districts. Goupil, deceived by his enemy's courtly manners, 
divided his small force into raiding detachments. Having 
thus reduced Goupil's strength, Sayad Lashkar Khan per- 
suaded Salabat Jang to return to Aurangabad, a spot at once 
nearer to Balaji and further from de Bussy. While the 
French cause was thus tottering to its fall, de Bussy lay sick 
at Masulipatam. But at the news of danger his ardent 
spirit triumphed over illness. He returned at full speed to 
Haidarabad, recalled his detachments and forced the governor 
of that city to pay his troops. Their confidence restored, 
de Bussy led them in October, 1753, against Aurangabad. 
The miserable Sayad lost courage as soon as his schemes 
were penetrated. He made no effort to stop the march of the 
French ; and on the 4th December he was forced to sign on 
behalf of Salabat Jang a grant to de Bussy of a great tract of 
land along the eastern coast, 470 miles long and from thirty to 
a hundred miles wide. It was watered by two noble rivers, the 
Godavari and the Krishna, and included the towns of Vizaga- 
patam, Rajamundri and Ellore. The tract was known as the 


Northern Sirkars, a name that it still bears. De Bussy was 
now independent of both Salabat Jang and his minister, and 
he proceeded to raise fresh troops and to govern the assigned 
lands with a moderation and wisdom that did him the greatest 

Baffled by the cowardice of Sayad Lashkar Khan, Balaji 
did not despair. He urged him to fresh plots ; and, when the 
Nizam replaced the Sayad by one Shah Nawaz Khan, Balaji 
entered into close relations with him. This was easily 
done ; for Shah Nawaz Khan had also been a devoted 
adherent of Nasir Jang and he hated the French as cordially 
as the Sayad did. The recall of Dupleix by the French East 
India Company and the recognition of Mahomed AH by 
Godeheu also aided Balaji's policy. The Nizam was vexed 
beyond measure at the French recognition of his enemy as 
the occupant of one of his own vassal thrones, without his 
previous consent. De Bussy did his best to smooth matters 
over, but his position at the Nizam's court was greatly 
shaken. To complete his downfall Shah Nawaz Khan advised 
Salabat Jang to demand the Moghul tribute from Mysore. 
This proposal he hoped de Bussy would oppose, as the 
Mysore Government were then actively helping the French. 
De Bussy was, however, equal to the occasion. He openly 
approved the advice and secretly sent a warning to the 
Dalwai or commander-in-chief of Mysore. Having thus done 
all he could for his allies, he took the direction of the in- 
vading army. Three days after crossing the Mysore frontier, 
he was in sight of Seringapatam. The unfortunate Mysore 
Government were completely paralysed by the absence of 
their troops and the celerity of de Bussy's movements. 
Worse news, however, awaited them. A great Maratha army 
under Balaji's own leadership now invaded Mysore from the 
west. This was not the first time that the Marathas had 
invaded Southern India. As I have related in the first volume 
of this history, Shivaji had conquered a dominion that 
stretched south of the Tungabhadra from sea to sea. Bajirao 
had again penetrated southward in 1726. In 1747 Sadashivrao 
had led thither a large army and had annexed nearly half the 
lands then ruled over by the Nawab of Savanur. The 
expedition of 1754-1755 was conducted on a great scale. 


From every village through which his army passed, Balaji 
extorted one-fourth of the revenue, either in cash or in bills. 
Several strong places were stormed, the garrisons killed and 
the treasure-chests seized. Among them was the fortress 
of Hole Honnur on the river Bhadra, one of the confluents of 
the Tungabhadra. The Peshwa was still deeply in debt, as 
the result of the extravagance of Shahu and of his own father 
Bajirao. He was determined to make his government solvent 
at the expense of Mysore and he was merciless in his ex- 
actions. He joined Salabat Jang's army beneath the walls of 
Seringapatam. In the meantime the Dalwai had been forced 
to promise to the Nizam a ransom of fifty-two lakhs of rupees. 
He had already stripped the rich jewels from the temple 
images of Seringapatam and from the arms and wrists of the 
royal ladies, but even so he had collected only one-third of 
the sum claimed. The Peshwa now demanded a further vast 
sum as arrears of his tribute. De Bussy, on behalf both of 
the Nizam and the Dalwai, obtained an audience of the 
Brahman prince. This was the first time that these two 
eminent men had met. Balaji was deeply impressed by 
de Bussy's bearing, his studied courtesy, his unruffled temper, 
and above all by his vast capacity for military and civil 
affairs. He listened attentively to the French general's 
address and was led to the view that it was useless to make 
further demands on Mysore. The Peshwa had already 
obtained by plunder on the march more than enough to settle 
his debts and with this he agreed to remain content. He did 
not, however, give up his plan of removing de Bussy from 
the counsels of Salabat Jang ; but he modified it and 
determined after removing him from Aurangabad to employ 
him in his own service at Poona. 

The Peshwa withdrew his army from Seringapatam, but 
he overran Jamkhandi and fought a series of actions at 
Harihar, Bagalkot and Mundlagi. The campaign continued all 
through the winter and summer of 1755. In January, 1755, 
Mahadji Purandare was given a separate command to plunder 
Bednur. This duty he effectually performed, but in the per- 
formance he quarrelled with Muzaffar Khan, the commandant 
of the Maratha artillery. The latter had been trained by 
de Bussy and had left his service for that of the Peshwa. 


He now deserted the Peshwa's service for that of the Nawab 
of Savanur. Early in April, 1755, the Peshwa returned to 
Poona and, as already related, engaged at once in the war 
against Tulaji Angre. Immediately the monsoon of 1755 had 
passed, the tireless Peshwa was once again at the head of his 
southern army. He had apppointed Panse to the command of 
his artillery, but he deeply resented the desertion of Muzaffar 
Khan. He demanded his surrender of the Nawab of Savanur. 
The latter returned a haughty answer and leagued himself 
with the Maratha chief, Murarirao Ghorpade, who would not 
acknowledge the Peshwa, and with the Nawabs of Kadapa 
and Kurnul. Against this formidable league the Peshwa 
invoked the help of the Nizam. He justly represented that a 
league of Afghan nawabs supported by Murarirao Ghorpade 
would, after defying the Peshwa, repudiate the suzerainty of 
the Nizam. Shah Nawaz Khan supported the Peshwa's agent, 
and an allied Moghul and Maratha force marched into the 
country of Savanur. In the forefront of the Maratha 
army were many famous leaders — Mulharrao Holkar, Vithal 
Shivdev Vinchurkar and Naro Shankar. Raghuji Bhosle was 
absent, for earlier in the year, on the 14th February, 1755, 
that gallant old chief had died of dysentery, and thirteen 
Maratha ladies had, in his honour, thrown themselves on his 
flaming pyre. He had tried to divide his state among his 
four sons, Janoji and Sabaji, Mudhoji and Bimbaji ; but the 
brothers quarrelled and the Peshwa turned their disputes to 
his own advantage. He conferred Raghuji' s title of Sena 
Sahib Subha on Janoji, recognized him as his father's heir and 
obtained from him a nazar of seven lakhs. In the expedition 
against Savanur both Janoji and Mudhoji were present. 

The Peshwa at the head of a great army met the Pathan 
nawabs and Murarirao Ghorpade not far from Savanur and 
inflicted on them so severe a defeat, that they were forced to 
take shelter in the fortress. On Salabat Jang's arrival the 
siege began. De Bussy had raised his artillery to the highest 
pitch of efficiency, and the tremendous effect of his cannon at 
this siege has passed into legend. 1 Murarirao Ghorpade, see- 
ing the confederates' cause hopeless, entered into negotiations 

1 It is said that de Bussy fired 125,000 shells into Savanur (Riyasat). 


with de Bussy and deserted to the Peshwa. Eventually 
the Nawab of Savanur sued for peace and obtained it in 
return for an indemnity of eleven lakhs, large cessions of 
territory and the surrender of Muzaffar Khan, who once more 
became an artillery officer of the Peshwa. In the course of 
this expedition the Marathas acquired among other places 
Belgaum, Sholapur and Hubli. Peace was declared in May, 
1756 and in June, 1756, as I have already mentioned, the 
Nawab of Bengal stormed Calcutta. Balaji feared that a 
junction between the French and the Nawab of Bengal would 
be fatal to the English. He now evolved a fresh plan, by 
which he hoped to paralyse the French, drive de Bussy from 
the Nizam's service, and employ him in his own. In the 
course of the siege of Savanur, Murarirao Ghorpade had, to 
induce de Bussy to favour his negotiations, returned him 
a bond which the French authorities had given Murarirao in 
recognition of his services against the English at Trichinopoli. 
The French authorities since Godeheu's ignominious peace 
were no longer able to redeem it. De Bussy took the bond 
and spoke on Murarirao's behalf both to the Peshwa and the 
Nizam. The Peshwa came to hear of the bond and told Shah 
Nawaz Khan. The latter told the Nizam, at the same time 
painting de Bussy's conduct in the blackest colours. While 
Salabat Jang had received nothing, said Shah Nawaz Khan, 
de Bussy had behind his master's back received a rich bribe 
from Ghorpade. Other Musulman nobles, jealous of de 
Bussy's power, supported Shah Nawaz Khan, with the result 
that the Nizam formally dismissed de Bussy from his service. 
Immediately this blow had been struck, Shah Nawaz Khan 
invited the English to attack de Bussy's force and the Peshwa 
to have him assassinated. Both invitations were declined. 
The English had no troops to spare, and the generous 
Brahman not only scorned to assassinate the French general 
but sent to his help a large body of horse under Malharrao 
Holkar, offering him the same pay and advantages that he 
had enjoyed at Haidarabad. De Bussy, however, declined the 
gracious offer and, after courteously dismissing the Maratha 
escort, marched from the Nizam's camp to Haidarabad. With 
incomparable skill he evaded or swept aside the forces sent to 
attack him, and, reaching his goal in safety, established himself 


in a garden known as the Char Mahal or the four palaces. 
From his new camp he sent for reinforcements to Pondicherry 
and Masulipatam. Moracin, the French Governor of Masuli- 
patam, sent a Scotch officer named Law, a brother of the 
famous speculator of the d'Orleans regency, with a detach- 
ment of one hundred and sixty Europeans, seven hundred 
sepoys and five guns. A further body of seven hundred 
men and six guns was sent from Pondicherry, and the 
two forces, having met, set out to join de Bussy. As 
they advanced their difficulties grew and enemies sprang up 
from every defile, thicket and river bed. At last, when 
at Meliapur, only seventeen miles from Haidarabad, Law 
took post and sent word to de Bussy that he could advance no 
farther. Back came the stern answer, " I bid you march 
forward in the name of the King." Law dared not disobey 
and once more the advance began. De Bussy did all that he 
could to help it. He had induced Ramchandra Jadhav, the son 
of the rebel Chandrasen Jadhav and Rav Rambha Janoji 
Nimbalkar of Karmala, two of the three Maratha leaders sent 
against Law, to take no active part against him. He also 
made a feigned attack on the Nizam's troops near his own 
camp, and simultaneously sent a force to escort Law during 
the last few miles of his march. Helped in this way, Law 
after very severe fighting succeeded in reaching de Bussy. 
An hour after Law's arrival in the French camp, de Bussy 
received a letter from Salabat Jang offering to reinstate him. 
De Bussy accepted the offer and on the 20th August, after 
passing through a crisis which no ordinary man would have 
survived, he was publicly reinstated by the Nizam in all his 
titles, lands and dignities. 

De Bussy was now, it would seem, free to act with the 
Nawab of Bengal ; but the resources of the Peshwa's diplo- 
macy were inexhaustible. While de Bussy was surmounting 
insuperable obstacles in and near Haidarabad, the agents of 
Shah Nawaz Khan, prompted by Balaji, had raised a revolt 
in the Northern Sirkars. Directly the rainy season permitted, 
de Bussy was forced to proceed there. On the 16th November, 
the French general with five hundred Frenchmen and four 
thousand sepoys set out for the assigned districts. In three 
months he had reduced them to obedience, and he was preparing 


to march northward to relieve Chandanagore, when he received 
the fatal news that the city had fallen on the 23rd March. It 
was useless now to go north, but vengeance might still be 
exacted from the English settlements in the east and south. 
He took successively the English factories at Vizagapatam, 
Madapollam, Bandarmalanka and Injiram, and was getting 
ready to sweep the English from Southern India when he was 
again stayed by news from Haidarabad. In his absence 
Shah Nawaz Khan, in league with the Peshwa, had woven 
a most formidable plot not only against de Bussy but against 
Salabat Jang himself (May, 1757). Their intention was to 
confine Salabat Jang and to declare his brother Nizam Ali 
Subhedar of the Deccan. Shah Nawaz Khan seized Daulata- 
bad, pretending to be afraid of his own troops. He invited 
Salabat Jang to visit him there ; but from this folly he was 
dissuaded by the French officers of his escort. Shah Nawaz 
Khan then refused to surrender the fortress. Nizam Ali, 
who was Governor of Berar, pretended to be shocked at the 
rebellion against his brother and marched with all speed to 
Haidarabad, really intending to seize Salabat Jang in his own 
camp. At the same time a Maratha army under Janoji 
Bhosle invaded the Nizam's dominions from the north ; and 
another Maratha army under the Peshwa's eldest son Vishvas- 
rao concentrated on the Godavari. A third Maratha force 
attacked and defeated Ramchandra Jadhav, who was march- 
ing to Salabat Jang's aid, and besieged him in the town of 
Sindkhed. The leader of this third contingent was Madhav- 
rao Sindia and against him Nizam Ali pretended to march. 
Madhavrao Sindia, acting under the Peshwa's instructions, 
allowed Nizam Ali to relieve Sindkhed. Nizam Ali offered 
the Peshwa the price agreed on secretly for his assistance, 
namely, the cession of a tract of land producing twenty-five 
lakhs of revenue, together with the fort of Naldurg. Balaji 
and Nizam Ali then marched as friends to Aurangabad ; and 
the next step would assuredly have been the deposition of 
Salabat Jang. But, before this could be achieved, de Bussy 
came by forced marches from the Northern Sirkars. His 
arrival foiled the plot. He recovered Daulatabad and over- 
awed the conspirators. Nizam Ali, in his rage at his failure, 
murdered Haidar Jang, de Bussy's confidential agent. He 


then fled for his life to Burhanpur and in the tumult that 
followed Shah Nawaz Khan was killed. The Marathas 
withdrew, but were consoled for their check by the capture of 
Shivner. That mighty fortress close to Junnar had long been 
coveted by the Maratha Government. It was the birthplace 
of the great king, who had more than once tried to take it. Its 
commandant, Alamkhannow surrendered it, induced to this act 
of treachery by the handsome bribe offered him by Uddhav 
Vireshwar Chitale, a Maratha officer. De Bussy, for the 
moment master of the situation, made Basalat Jang, Salabat 
Jang's remaining brother, diwan, and proposed through him 
to govern the entire Deccan. It might thus seem that de 
Bussy had won in his struggle with Balaji. In reality the 
latter had reached his goal. While de Bussy was struggling 
to save Salabat Jang, the English had fought and won 
Plassey and conquered Bengal. Nothing that the French 
could now do was of any use. De Lally, the new French 
Governor-General, anxious to concentrate his troops for an 
attack on Madras, recalled de Bussy ; and on the 21st July, 
1758, the great soldier said good-bye to Salabat Jang for ever. 
The attack on Madras failed. The Northern Sirkars were 
conquered by the English and the French were expelled from 
the Nizam's dominions. It was thus Balaji who had won in 
the contest and it was not long before he reaped the fruits of 
his victory. 

The Peshwa's plans were favoured by the turbulence and 
faithlessness of Nizam Ali. On reaching Burhanpur the 
latter levied a heavy contribution and proceeded to raise 
troops. He was soon joined by Ibrahim Khan Gardi with a 
corps of artillery. This celebrated individual had at one 
time been a favourite officer of de Bussy and had become 
an expert in the French method of serving their cannon. 
He had left the service of the French for that of Nizam Ali, 
had rejoined de Bussy at Haidarabad, and on his recall had 
once more thrown in his lot with Nizam Ali. His surname 
Gardi was a corruption of the French word " Garde ". Basalat 
Jang persuaded Janoji Bhosle to attack the rebel, but by the 
aid of Ibrahim Gardi's artillery, Nizam Ali defeated the 
Maratha leader. Janoji Bhosle, thereafter, on instructions 
received from the Peshwa, joined the pretender's cause. 


Another event helped Nizam AH. Salabat Jang, in answer to 
an appeal from his French friends, marched to relieve Masuli- 
patam, then besieged by the English. In his absence Nizam 
Ali took Aurangabad and marched on Haidarabad. In all 
haste Salabat Jang patched up a treaty with the English and 
returned to drive away his brother. But Nizam Ali's position 
had become so strong that Salabat Jang was forced to accept 
him as his diwan and to dismiss Basalat Jang. Nizam Ali 
on his part agreed to dismiss Ibrahim Gardi, who at once 
entered the service of Sadashivrao. 

Nizam Ali, having become supreme in his brother's vice- 
royalty, refused to carry out the treaty of Sakhar Khedale, 1 
as the treaty concluded between him and the Peshwa was 
called. He also refused to become the subordinate ally of 
the Peshwa, as Balaji demanded. In spite of the Peshwa's 
remonstrances, he allied himself to the English. All through 
1759, therefore, Balaji and Sadashivrao made extensive 
preparations for war. On the 9th November, 1759, the Peshwa's 
officer, Visaji Krishna Biniwale induced Kavijang, the Musul- 
man governor of Ahmadnagar to surrender it in return for 
a perpetual jaghir of fifty thousand rupees. This act led to 
an open rupture between the two powers. Some delay took 
place in the Maratha movements by reason of Muzaffar Khan's 
attempt on the life of Sadashivrao. Muzaffar Khan, as will 
be remembered, had on the fall of Savanur re-entered the 
Maratha service. Sadashivrao, who disliked him, protested, 
but was overruled. Afterwards Sadashivrao tried to get 
Ibrahim Khan Gardi appointed in Muzaffar Khan's place as 
commandant of the Peshwa's artillery corps. Although the two 
Musulmans were kinsmen, Muzaffar Khan's vanity was deeply 
wounded. He corrupted his son-in-law, Haidar Khan, to 
assassinate Sadashivrao. On the 25th October 1759, while 
Sadashivrao was sitting in his tent at Garpir, just outside 
Poona city, Haidar Khan entered it and struck at him with 
a dagger. A silledar or cavalry officer named Nagoji Guzar 
caught the assassin's wrist and Sadashivrao escaped with a 
slight wound. Haidar Khan was seized, and implicated 
Muzaffar Khan and a Prabhu officer called Ramchandra 

1 Sakhar Khedale was the village where the treaty was signed. 


Narayan. The first two were instantly beheaded ; the third 
was imprisoned for life. 

Early in December 1759, the war began in earnest. Nizam 
Ali's cause was hopeless from the first. His finances were in 
disorder and his army were in arrears. They were also 
outnumbered by the Marathas, who were superior in arms and 
equipment of every kind. Still Nizam Ali could not bring 
himself either to carry out the treaty of Sakhar Khedale or 
acquiesce in the loss of Ahmadnagar, a spot dear to all 
Deccan Musulmans as the capital of the Nizamshahi kings and 
of the heroic Chand Sultana. Nizam Ali's army moved first 
to Bedar and then to Dharur. Sadashivrao took by storm 
Bahadurgad, a strong fort on the Bhima river, and, hearing of 
the Moghul movements, sent an advance party to harass the 
main body and so prevent their junction with a cavalry corps of 
seven thousand horse under Vyankatrao Nimbalkar, a Maratha 
officer in the Nizam's service, who was encamped at Dharur. 
The advance party did their work admirably and so harassed the 
Moghuls that they never reached their objective. While the 
Moghuls were skirmishing with the advance guard, Sadashiv- 
rao and Vishvasrao, the Peshwa's eldest son, came up at the 
head of forty thousand cavalry, five thousand regular infantry 
and an ample park of light artillery. The unfortunate Moghuls 
were attacked near Udgir and driven into the fortress of 
Ousha, where they were besieged for four days (January, 1760). 
On the fifth day the two brothers— for Salabat Jang was also 
in the field— sued for peace and were only granted it on the 
most humiliating terms. Sadashivrao demanded the cession 
of lands that yielded annually a crore of rupees ; eventually 
he accepted an assignment of land worth annually sixty-two 
lakhs, the surrender of the great forts of Ashirgad, Daulatabad, 
Bijapur, Ahmadnagar and Burhanpur. Nimbalkar was no 
longer to remain in the Nizam's service. The terms of peace 
were promptly executed, save only the surrender of Daulatabad. 
This was stubbornly defended by the commandant, until he, 
too, was won over by the payment of a lakh and a 
half and a jaghir of thirty-five thousand rupees a year. 
The power of the Nizam was now almost as broken as the 
imperial power in the north. In two or three years, so 
the Peshwa expected with confidence, the entire viceroyalty 


of the Deccan would have become part of the Maratha 

While the Peshwa was thus vigorously prosecuting his 
designs in the Deccan, he was pressing Maratha interests 
with hardly less energy in the extreme south. In January 
1757, an army of sixty thousand men, led by the Peshwa and 
Sadashivrao, marched through southern India, collecting 
tribute. All the petty chiefs save only the Nawab of Kadapa 
paid it readily. In March 1757, the Marathas were under the 
walls of Seringapatam and claimed several crores of rupees 
as arrears of tribute. The Dalwai Nandraj pleaded his inabi- 
lity to pay. Sadashivrao opened fire on Seringapatam with 
thirty cannon. Unfortunately a shot from one of his guns 
struck the temple of Shri Rang or Vishnu, the temple from 
which the town derives its name. About the same time 
another gun burst, causing considerable loss of life. A 
religious panic spread through both armies because of the evil 
omen and they hastened to come to terms. Sadashivrao 
demanded thirty-six lakhs, but accepted thirty-two. Five 
lakhs were paid in cash ; for the remaining twenty-seven 
lakhs fourteen districts were mortgaged. The Peshwa ap- 
pointed revenue collectors over the mortgaged districts and 
occupied them with six thousand men. On the 16th May, he 
started to go back to Poona. The Krishna and Tungabhadra 
were already in flood and the troops despaired of crossing 
them. The Peshwa, however, worshipped the river deities, 
the floods abated and the main army reached Poona on the 
16th June. A considerable force remained with Balwantrao 
Mehendale with orders to recover Sira, Bangalore, Ouscotta, 
Kolar and Balapur, the former conquests of the great king. 
This brought him again into conflict with the Afghan Nawabs 
of Kadapa, Savanur and Karnul. On the 24th September, 
1757, Balwantrao Mehendale won a great victory near Kadapa. 
The Nawab of Kadapa was killed and his town was sacked. 
His cousin and heir, Abdul Nabi Khan gallantly defended the 
rest of the Kadapa territory, but eventually agreed to surren- 
der half and keep the rest. Finally Mehendale levied four 
and a half lakhs from the Nawab of Arcot, and returned to 
Poona in February, 1758. 

The Peshwa spent the monsoon of 1757 in equipping a 



force to reduce Mysore ; for on the departure of the main 
Maratha army the Dalwai Nandraj had broken the treaty and 
had driven the Marathas out of the fourteen ceded districts. 
On the way he intended to reduce Bednur. But, when Shah 
Nawaz Khan made his attempt to depose Salabat Jang in 
favour of Nizam Ali, the Peshwa ordered the expeditionary 
force to effect a junction with his own army and march on 
Haidarabad. The expedition, however, against Mysore was 
only postponed. At the beginning of 1759, the Peshwa 
despatched a Maratha army under Gopalrao Patwardhan to 
recover the fourteen districts. 

The family to which Gopalrao Patwardhan belonged gave 
so many famous men to the Maratha empire, that it is only 
fitting that we should enquire into their origin. They claimed 
descent from one Balambhat, the son of a Chitpavan Brahman, 
Haribhat, who lived in Kotawada, a village in the Ratnagiri 
district. Balambhat had three sons, of whom the eldest, 
Haribhat left his native place for Pula, a famous shrine near 
Chiplun, where he obtained by arduous penances, performed 
unremittingly for twelve years, the favour of the god Ganpati. 
The god's favour became manifest by Haribhat's appointment 
as family priest to Naropant Joshi, the founder of the 

The following is the family tree of the Patwardhans 







Krishnabhat Balambhat 

I I 

Narayanrao Moro Ballal 

I I I 

Trimbak Govind Ramchandra 


Pandurangrao Gopalrao 



(Rao Bahadur Paraanis. The Sangli State and the Harivansha 


Ichalkaranji State. When Balaji, the first of the Bhat Peshwas, 
married his daughter Anubai to Naropant's son, Vyankatrao, 
Haribhat's fortunes rose with those of the house of Ichalka- 
ranji. Haribhat died in 1750 at Poona, and one of his 
sons, Govind founded in his father's honour the village of 
Haripur, on the banks of the Krishna, not far from Sangli. 
Besides Govind, Haribhat had six other sons — Krishnabhat, 
Balambhat, Trimbakpant, Mahadevbhat, Ramchandrapant and 
Bhaskarpant. Trimbak, Govind and Ramchandra rose to 
high military office and from them are descended the chiefs 
of Sangli, Jamkhandi, Miraj, and Kurundwad. Gopalrao 
Patwardhan was the son of Govind Patwardhan and although 
a young man was already distinguished as a soldier. 

At first all went well with the expedition. The fourteen 
districts fell again into Maratha hands ; and the main army 
besieged Bangalore, while a detachment took by storm the 
fort of Chennapatam, forty miles to the east of Seringapatam. 
It was then that the Marathas were first thwarted by the 
talents of Haidar Ali. This extraordinary man claimed 
descent from the race of the Holy Prophet himself, the famous 
tribe of the Koreish. One of his ancestors named Hasan, 
the descendant of Yahya, left Baghdad and came to Ajmir. 
There a son, Wali Mahomed was born to him. Wali Mahomed 
had a son, Ali Mahomed, who migrated to Kolar in eastern 
Mysore, where he died, leaving four sons. The youngest of 
these, Fateh Mahomed was a soldier of fortune and was killed 
in fighting for the imperial cause against Sadat Ulla Khan, the 
Nawab of Arcot. The latter confiscated the fallen soldier's 
wealth and turned his widow and two sons adrift. The elder, 
Shahbaz became an officer in the Mysore service and was 
later joined by his younger brother, Haidar Ali. The latter 
soon attracted the attention of his superiors by his energy 
and courage, and he was now given the command of the 
Mysore army. By skilfully surprising Chennapatam, he 
forced Patwardhan to raise the siege of Bangalore. There- 
after he so harassed the Maratha leader, that the latter was 
glad to come to terms. Patwardhan agreed to give up the 
fourteen districts for a sum of thirty-two lakhs. Half was 
paid in cash and half was advanced by the Maratha bankers 
with Patwardhan's army on Haidar Ali's personal security. 


Early in 1760, Haidar AH returned in triumph to Seringapatam 
and received from his grateful king the title of Fateh Haidar 
Bahadur, or the brave and victorious lion. Gopalrao Patwar- 
dhan, on the other hand, was reprimanded by the Peshwa. 
" Haidar ", so he wrote to the unfortunate general, " has des- 
troyed your prestige." After making peace with Mysore, 
Patwardhan tried to take advantage of the struggle then 
proceeding between the English and French round Madras. 
As neither side would buy his support, he seized the rich 
temple of Tirupati, proposing to appropriate the offerings 
due to the gods at the annual festival (January 1760). Even 
this he failed to achieve. During the rains of 1760, Patwardhan 
was recalled to Poona ; and, before the detachment which he 
left behind could plunder the pilgrims, it was driven out by 
Mahomed Ali, Nawab of Arcot. 1 

Thus in the year 1760, we see the Peshwa on the point of 
overwhelming the last fragments of Moghul rule in the 
Deccan ; and, if in the Carnatic his troops were not so 
uniformly victorious, it yet seemed certain that in a year or 
two it also must succumb. For, on the disappearance of the 
Nizam's dominions, Mysore, although guarded by the genius 
of Haidar Ali, could certainly not have withstood the combin- 
ed attack of the Peshwa's armies. That these glorious hopes 
were not fulfilled was due to a disaster so tremendous, that 
from it the Marathas never recovered. It eventually led to 
their subjugation by a foreign power. The events which led 
to that disaster will be narrated in the next chapter. 

1 Khare's collection of historic documents, vol. 1, para; 24. 



Pedigree of the Mysore rulers 

Vijayaraj (1399) 

Raj Wodiar (1577-1616) 

Chikka Devraj (1671-1704) 

Kanthi Raj (1704-1716) 

Dodda Krishna Raj (1716-1733) 

(adopted) Chamraj (1733-1736) died in prison 

(adopted) Chikka Krishnaraj (1736-1766) 

I I I 

Nanjraj (1766-1771) Chamraj (1771-1776) Chamraj (1776-1796) 

strangled chosen by 

Haidar Ali 
Krishnaraj the third 




Family trees of the Nawabs of Arcot 

(a) Chanda Sahib's branch 

Sadat Ulla Khan (1710-1732) 
Dost Ali Khan (his nephew) 1732-1740 


Safdar Ali Khan 

daughter « 

Hussein Dost Khan 


commonly called Chanda Sahib 

Mahomed Sayad Khan 


(6) Mahomed Ali's 




I I 

Mahfuz Khan Mahomed Ali (1749-1795) 


Umdat-ul-Umar (1795-1801) 



Family tree of the Nizams of Haidarabad 
Nizam-ul-Mulk (1713-1748) 

I I I I I 

Ghazi-ud-din Nasir Jang Salabat Jang Basalat Jang Nizam Ali 



I I I 

Mir Ahmad Khan Sikaudar Jah Faridun Jah 

(Ali Jah) (1803-1828) and 5 other sons 

I I 

Mughal Ali Khan daughter of Nizam-ul-Mulk 

son of Nizam-ul-Mulk | 

Muzaffar Jang (1750-1751) 



As the events of the preceding chapters are rather confusing, 
I have prepared the following synopsis for the benefit of my 
readers, of those events from 1750 to 1760. The synopsis 
does not include events in the succeeding chapters. 

1751, Balaji attacks the Nizam in January, 1751, but makes peace 

on hearing of Damaji Gaikvad's rebellion. 
March and April. Damaji Gaikvad's rebellion. 
September. Clive takes Arcot. 
November and December. Balaji renews the war against the 

Nizam. Battles of Kukadi and Ghodnadi. 
Marathas take Trimbak. 

1752, January. Truce of Shingwa with the Nizam. 

March. Agreement between the Peshwa and Damaji Gaikvad. 

June. Surrender and execution of Chanda Sahib. 

September. Tarabai and Balaji take mutual oaths of friend- 
ship at Jejuri. 

October. Murder of Ghazi-ud-din. 

November. Treaty of Bhalki with the Nizam. 

December. Raghunathrao invades Guzarat and besieges 
Jawan Mard Khan Babi in Ahmadabad. 

1753, March. Capture of Ahmadabad by the Marathas. 

October to December. Sayad Lashkar Khan's plot against 
de Bussy. 

1754, October. Dupleix leaves India. 

December. Treaty between M. Godeheu and the English. 
December, to June 1755. Balaji's first Carnatic expedition. 

1755, April. Capture of Suvarnadurg in alliance with the English. 
October to May, 1756. Balaji's second Carnatic expedition 

and siege of Savanur. 

1756, April. Capture of Vijayadurg. 

June. The Nawab of Bengal storms Calcutta. 

July. De Bussy dismissed by the Nizam. 

July. The Moghuls and the Nawab of Cambay retake 

August. Return of de Bussy to the service of the Nizam. 

1757, January 2nd. Clive retakes Calcutta. 

January to June. Balaji's third Carnatic expedition. Shri- 

Rang temple injured. 
March. Fall of Chandanagore. 


1757, May. Conspiracy of Shah Nawaz Khan and Nizam Ali against 

Salabat Jang. 
June. Carnatic campaign under Balwantrao Mehendale. It 

lasted until February, 1758. 
June 23rd. Battle of Plassey. 
August. Battle of Sindkhed. De Bussy foils the conspirators. 

Death of Shah Nawaz Khan. 
September. Victory of Balwantrao Mehendale at Kadapa and 

death of the Nawab. 
October. Recapture of Ahmadabad by the Marathas. 

1758, July. Recall of de Bussy from Haidarabad. Spread of Nizam 

Ali's rebellion. 

1759, January to June, 1760. Carnatic campaign under Gopalrao 

Govind Patwardhan. 

1760, January. The battle of Udgir. 




Genealogical tree of the Nagpur Bhosles 



3 Raghuji (died 14-2-1755) 


(by elder wife) 

(died 19-5-1788) 



5 Raghuji (given 
in adoption) 

(Manya Bapu) 


7 Mudhoji 

(Appa Sahib) 

1 Parsoji 


2 Kanhoji 

(by younger wife) 

4 Janoji 
(died 21-4-1771) 


— 5 Raghuji 

6 Parsoji 

8 Raghuji 


Janoji was born before his brothers, but his mother was the younger 
wife. The numbers mark the members of the family who succeeded in 
that order to the Bhosle estate. 



At the close of chapter xlv we left Ahmad Shah newly 
seated on the throne of Delhi. Of the few provinces that 
still acknowledged his sovereignty, Oudh was under the 
government of Safdar Jang, the nephew of Sadat Khan. The 
latter, originally a merchant from Khorasan, had first risen to 
eminence during the successful plot woven by Mahomed Shah 
and his mother against the Sayads. In 1737 he had, as 
governor of Oudh, defeated Malharrao Holkar 1 when the 
latter crossed the Jamna. He was succeeded in his office by 
Safdar Jang, his nephew. The country round Farrukabad 
was in the hands of an Afghan jaghirdar, Kaiam Khan 
Bangash. The province, known now as Rohilkhand and then 
as Kuttahir, was in the occupation of a band of Afghan 
mercenary soldiers known as Rohels or Rohillas, from " Roh", 
the Pushtu or Afghan word for mountain. The Whig historians 
have depicted the Rohillas as little, if at all, lower than the 
angels. They were really a set of faithless and blood-thirsty 
mountaineers, who had made themselves especially hateful to 
the Hindus by their plunder of the holy places at Allahabad 
and Benares. About 1673 two brothers, Shah Alam and 
Hussein Khan, left their native hills and obtained some petty 
office under the Moghuls. Shah Alam's grandson, Ali 
Mahomed, a man of resource and courage and quite devoid of 
scruple, was eventually appointed governor of Sirhind. Taking 
advantage of the invasion of Ahmad Shah Abdali, he added in 
1748 to the lands already acquired by him those formerly 
owned by officers absent on field service. In this way he 
acquired the whole of Kuttahir and changed its name to 
Rohilkhand. The provinces of Lahore and Multan were under 
the government of Mir Mannu, the son of the vazir Kamar-ud- 
din, who in 1748 had been killed in battle against Ahmad 
Shah Abdali. 

1 See vol. 2, p. 222. 


Upon the death of Kamar-ud-din and the refusal of Nizam-ul- 
Mulk to be vazir, Ahmad Shah appointed Safdar Jang as his 
vazir. The first aim of the new administration was the 
destruction of the Rohilla power. Safdar Jang attempted 
nothing until the death of Ali Mahomed in 1749. He then 
induced Kaiam Khan, the Jaghirdar of Farrukabad, to invade 
Rohilkhand, but the Rohillas defeated and slew him. Safdar 
Jang found consolation in seizing the lands of his late ally, 
Kaiam Jang. The latter's brother, Ahmad Khan inflicted two 
severe defeats on Safdar Jang, who, beside himself with anger, 
called in the help of Malharrao Holkar and Jayappa Sindia, 
the eldest son of Ranoji Sindia, who had died in 1750. * 
Ahmad Khan in vain allied himself with the Rohillas. The 
allies were defeated and the Marathas according to the author 
of the Tarikh-i-Ahmad Shah, " ransacked the whole country, 
not allowing a single man to escape, and every article of 
money they carried away as booty." In the following year, 
1752, Ahmad Shah Abdali again invaded the Punjab, and Safdar 
Jang and the Marathas agreed to evacuate Rohilkhand on the 
condition that the Rohillas paid five lakhs a year to the 
emperor and signed bonds for fifty lakhs payable to Safdar 
Jang. These bonds Safdar Jang in turn handed over to 
Holkar and Sindia in part payment of the subsidies due by 
him. As these bonds were never honoured, they formed the 
basis of future Maratha claims on Rohilkhand. 2 

Early in 1752 Ahmad Shah Abdali entered the Punjab and 
sent an ambassador demanding the formal cession of that 
province. Safdar Jang, who might have induced the emperor 
to resist the demand, was absent in Rohilkhand. The 
emperor's favourite, a eunuch named Jawid, induced him to 
yield, and Ahmad Shah reappointed as the governor of his 
new possession Mir Mannu. Safdar Jang, exasperated at the 
cession, and at the favourite's influence, had Jawid murdered. 
The emperor turned for help to Ghazi-ud-din, the son and 
namesake of Ghazi-ud-din, the eldest son of Nizam-ul-Mulk. 
The father was at the time aspiring to the throne of the 
Deccan, and Safdar Jang got rid of his Maratha allies by 

1 See Appendix A, pedigree of the house of Sindia, 

2 Hamilton's Rohillas, p. 112. 


sending them with the elder Ghazi-ud-din to Aurangabad. 
There, as we have seen, Ghazi-ud-din the elder was poisoned 
by the mother of Nizam Ali. Ghazi-ud-din the younger was 
only eighteen years old, but he was capable and energetic. 
Safdar Jang had secured him his father's titles and estates, and 
he repaid his benefactor by joining the emperor against him. 
Ahmad Shah supported by Ghazi-ud-din dismissed Safdar 
Jang and called in the help of Surajmal, the chief of the Jats. 

For six months the troops of the contending statesmen 
fought daily through the streets of Delhi. At last Ghazi-ud- 
din called in Malharrao Holkar and Jayappa Sindia. 1 Fearing 
the Maratha leaders, Safdar Jang made his peace and was 
formally appointed viceroy of Oudh and Allahabad. Intizam- 
ud-Daula, the uncle by marriage of Ghazi-ud-din, was made 
vazir, and Ghazi-ud-din marched with Holkar and Sindia 
against Dig and Bharatpur, the fortresses of Surajmal. The 
allies failed to take either stronghold. In their absence the 
emperor, who had grown to hate and fear Ghazi-ud-din worse 
than he had hated and feared Safdar Jang, began to plot with 
Surajmal against his young supporter. Surajmal agreed to 
help the emperor with an army, provided he would leave Delhi 
for Sikandra near Agra. The emperor foolishly set out 
without either informing Safdar Jang or providing himself 
with a proper escort. Before he could reach Sikandra, Malhar- 
rao Holkar surprised his camp and plundered it. The imperial 
insignia and baggage, the widow of Mahomed Shah and several 
other princesses fell into the hands of Holkar. The emperor 
and a few attendants escaped back to Delhi. There worse 
befell him. Ghazi-ud-din raised the siege of the Jat fort- 
resses, returned to the capital, made himself vazir at the expense 
of Intizam-ud-Daula, and blinded and deposed the emperor 
Ahmad Shah. In his place he raised to the throne a son of 
Jehandar Shah with the title of Alamgir II (May 1754). 
Shortly afterwards Safdar Jang died and was buried in the 
beautiful mausoleum that bears his name, not far from Delhi. 
His son Shuja-ud-Daula became in his father's stead viceroy 
of Oudh and Allahabad. 

The restless Ghazi-ud-din, having provoked a mutiny among 

1 For the family tree of the Sindias, see Appendix A. 


his troops and quelled it with reckless daring, planned the 
recovery of the ceded provinces of Lahore and Multan. The 
occasion was favourable. Mir Mannu had fallen from his 
horse and died. His son had predeceased him and his widow 
carried on the government ; her daughter was betrothed to 
Ghazi-ud-din. The young vazir, leaving the emperor under 
a guard at Delhi, proceeded to Lahore to celebrate his wedding. 
The widow was preparing a royal welcome for Ghazi-ud-din, 
when he had her treacherously seized and usurped her govern- 
ment. In a fury of rage the injured matron called down 
curses on Ghazi-ud-din and contrived to communicate with 
Ahmad Shah Abdali. The Afghan king flew to her rescue. 
Ghazi-ud-din threw himself at the invader's feet and on the 
widow's intercession obtained a pardon. Ahmad Shah, 
however, demanded money as a salve for his outraged feelings. 
He marched first to Delhi, where he repeated the atrocities of 
Nadir Shah. From Delhi he sent detachments into Oudh, and 
against the Jats. But it was at Mathura that Afghan cruelty 
reached its zenith. This holy spot attracts pilgrims from all 
parts of India ; for there the divine Krishna, the eighth 
incarnation of the god Vishnu, was born. To save the infant 
god from the murderous hatred of his uncle Kansa, 1 his 
earthly father, Vasudeva carried the babe across the river 
Jamna ; to give them passage the waters of the great river 
parted, and Vasudeva was able to hide the child in the waggon 
of Nanda, a cowherd of Gokula. Beyond his uncle's reach, 
the boy grew to manhood and in due time returned to Mathura 
and slew his uncle. At the time of Ahmad Shah Abdali' s 
invasion the town was crowded with harmless pilgrims of both 
sexes ; the Afghans slaughtered the men, outraged the women, 
and sacked the holy city and its beautiful temples. Happily a 
plague broke out among the Afghan soldiery, which forced 
Ahmad Shah to return to Kabul. Before he left, he married 
a princess of the house of Delhi and gave another in marriage 
to his son, afterwards Timur Shah. To protect the emperor 
from Ghazi-ud-din, Ahmad Shah appointed Najib-ud-Daulat as 
vazir. The latter was an Afghan of the Kamar Kel tribe, 
who had risen to eminence under Ali Mahomed. He was a 

1 Hamilton's Rohillas, p. 131. 


man of great courage and capacity and was eminently fitted 
for the post. But as soon as the Afghan king had left India, 
Ghazi-ud-din sent an appeal to Raghunathrao, Balaji's brother, 
who in 1756 was levying contributions from the chiefs 
of Rajputana and Malwa. Raghunathrao at once joined 
Ghazi-ud-din and the confederates besieged Delhi. The only 
thought of Alamgir II was for the safety of his son Ali Gohar, 
and he contrived his flight, first into Rohilkhand and after- 
wards to the court of Shuja-ud-Daula, the viceroy of Oudh. 
Najib-ud-Daulat effected his escape by giving a handsome 
present to Malharrao Holkar, and he fled to his own jaghir at 
Saharanpur. The emperor then threw open the gates of Delhi 
and perforce took Ghazi-ud-din back as his vazir. 

Raghunathrao now cast his eyes northward. Ahmad Shah 
Abdali had left behind him as governor of the Punjab his son 
Timur. Mir Mannu's deputy, Adina Beg, resented the appoint- 
ment and invited Raghunathrao to Lahore. In May 1758, 
Raghunathrao entered Lahore, driving before him Timur's 
army of occupation. A second army of thirty thousand men 
under Dattaji Sindia and Malharrao Holkar drove Najib-ud- 
Daulat to take post at Shukratal, a defensible position on the 
Ganges. A third army under Govindpant Bandela x invaded 
Rohilkhand, but it was defeated with heavy loss by Shuja-ud- 
Daula and driven across the Ganges. Ahmad Shah Abdali 
had learnt with the utmost indignation of his son's expulsion 
from the Punjab. He could not act as soon as he could have 
wished ; for he was engaged in quelling the revolt of Nasir 
Khan, the Khan of Khelat. By July 1759 the Baluch rebellion 
had been quelled, and Ahmad Shah took the road to Shikarpur 
in Sind. From Upper Sind the Afghan army marched up the 
right bank of the Indus and in September 1759 crossed that 
river at Peshawar and the Jamna opposite Saharanpur. From 
his prison at Delhi, the unfortunate Alamgir II sent him an 
appeal for help. Unhappily the letter fell into the hands of Ghazi- 
ud-din, who at once had the emperor murdered, and raised 
another member of the imperial house, Mohi-al-Sunnat, a son of 
Kam Baksh and a grandson of Aurangzib, to the Moghul throne, 
with the empty title of Shah Jahan or Lord of the Universe. 

1 For an account of Govindpant Bandela see vol. II, p. 225. 


In the meantime Ahmad Shah Abdali reoccupied Lahore, 
while the Maratha army under Dattaji Sindia and Malharrao 
Holkar retired before him. Malharrao Holkar, anxious to 
win Surajmal to the Maratha cause, withdrew his contin- 
gent from Sindia's force and moved southward. Dattaji 
Sindia retreated to Delhi, but refused to go farther in spite of 
the prayers of his wife Bhagirthabai, who was about to be 
confined. He posted a guard under Janrao Vable and Maloji 
Sindia at the crossing of the Jamna known as the Badaon 
Ghat. He himself with the bulk of his army cantoned at 
Delhi ; but he sent southward the ladies of his family under 
the escort of Rupram Katari, one of his officers. On the 10th 
January, 1760, Dattaji Sindia celebrated at Delhi the festival of 
the Makar Sankrant with prodigious ceremony, just as if no 
active and resolute foe was in the field against him. The 
Makar Sankrant is the Hindu equivalent of the Christian 
Christmas. On that day is celebrated the winter solstice. 
The sun has reached the southernmost point of its course. 
From this moment begin the six lucky months, known as the 
Uttarayan, during which time the sun's progress is northward. 
In honour of this fortunate season, Hindus of both sexes rise 
early, worship the family gods, dress in holiday attire, and visit 
their friends. 1 As they enter a friend's house they present 
him with sugared sesamum and repeat the rhyme, " Til kha 
tilse ya, gul kha godse bola " (Eat the sesamum and come 
towards me little by little ; eat the sugar and let your 
words be sweet). 2 The smallness of the sesamum seed 
represents the tiny changes that occur in the length of the day 
during the early part of the Uttarayan. The day, so the 
Hindus say, lengthens only " til til ", or the size of a sesamum 

On the morning of the 10th January 1760, Dattaji Sindia 
held a parade of his forces at Delhi and distributed sugared 
sesamum to his higher officers. It was his intention 
throughout the day to receive and to pay a series of formal 
visits. In the meantime the Abdali's spies had brought him 

1 The Makar Sankrant now falls on the 14th January. This difference 
between the Christian and the Hindu calculations is due to the dis- 
regard by the latter in modern times of the precession of the equinoxes. 

8 The present practice is to say only, " Tilgul ghya aani god bola." 


news of Dattaji Sindia's position and also of his negligence. 
Effecting a junction with Najib-ud-Daulat, the Abdali forced the 
Jamna river at the Badaon Ghat, cut to pieces Janrao Vable and 
his men, and marched on Delhi. Dattaji Sindia, on hearing 
of the disaster, led, with more courage than prudence, the rest 
of his contingent from Delhi, and attacked Ahmad Shah. His 
force was outnumbered and overwhelmed. He himself and 
his illegitimate brother Jyotaba were among the slain. 
Jankoji, his nephew and the son of Jayappa Sindia, was 
wounded but escaped with two or three thousand men, and 
was hotly pursued by the Afghans for several miles. 

Malharrao Holkar on hearing of this disaster retreated 
towards Sikandra, forty miles east of Delhi and five miles 
from Agra. He had heard that the Rohilla chiefs had stored 
grain and money there to aid Ahmad Shah in his eastward 
march, and he hoped to seize the store. He found, however, 
on arrival that the Rohillas had removed their granary and 
money ; so he rested his troops and renewed his efforts to win 
over Surajmal. No spot could be found more suited for 
repose than Sikandra ; for there, in a mausoleum in the midst 
of a beautiful park thronged with deer and antelope, rests in 
an endless sleep the great Akbar. The calm of his surround- 
ings led Holkar to neglect his usual precautions. The Shah 
of Afghanistan, learning his whereabouts, sent against him an 
active officer called Pasand Khan with fifteen thousand horse. 
In twenty-four hours this mobile body marched a hundred and 
forty miles to Delhi. Halting at the capital for a single day, 
Pasand Khan marched that night to Sikandra, which he 
reached just before dawn. Malharrao Holkar was taken 
completely off his guard. He fled almost naked from his 
camp, with only three hundred companions. The rest of his 
contingent was dispersed, taken or slaughtered. Ahmad Shah 
followed up his advantage by moving his main army to 
Sikandra, where he prepared to pass the rainy season. 

These were not the only misfortunes that befell the 
Maratha leaders about this time in Upper India. On the 
death of Abhai Sing, Maharaja of Jodhpur, his son Ramsing 
succeeded. At his installation, Abhai Sing's brother Bakhta 
Sing, although first prince of the Rahtor house, absented 
himself and sent by way of proxy his aged foster-mother 


to put the red mark of Rajput sovereignty on the brow of the 
new prince. Ramsing in a fury drove her forth, asking 
insolently whether his uncle took him for an ape, that he had 
sent a female monkey to present him with the tika. l This 
insult, deeply resented by Bakhta Sing, led to a war between 
uncle and nephew, in which the former was victorious. 
Ramsing retaliated by poisoning his uncle, and the dispute 
became one between Ramsing and Bakhta Sing's son 
Vijayasing. Ramsing asked for and obtained the help of 
Jayappa Sindia, who after defeating Vijayasing besieged 
him in Nagore. Unable to obtain the help of the other 
Rajput chiefs, Vijayasing stooped to assassination. Two 
soldiers, one a Rajput and the other an Afghan, disguised as 
camp followers, contrived to get close to Jayappa's tent. There 
they feigned a violent quarrel and implored the Maratha 
chief to decide between them. Sindia, interested in their 
concocted story, let them come close to his side. Suddenly 
rushing at him, they drove simultaneously their daggers into 
his body. " This for Jodhpur ! This for Nagore ! " they 
cried and fled. The Afghan was killed, but the Rajput, by 
mingling in the crowd and calling, "Thief! Thief!" as loud 
as he could, diverted attention from himself and escaped. 
Sindia's army raised the siege ; but Raghunathrao returned 
to Jodhpur to avenge Jayappa's death. Instead, however, of 
deposing Vijayasing, 2 he deserted the cause of Ramsing and 
acknowledged Vijayasing as Maharaja, accepting by way of 
mund kataiy or blood-money, the town and fort of Ajmir. 

The news of these calamities reached the Peshwa in the 
Deccan after the great victory of Udgir. Sadashivrao, whose 
head had been turned by recent success, begged that he 
and Vishvasrao might be given the command of an army to 
expel Ahmad Shah Abdali and establish Maratha rule as far 
as Attock. Raghunathrao's experience of northern warfare 
gave him the better claim. But, although a skilful com- 
mander, he was profuse and unbusiness-like ; and his last 
campaigns had brought nothing but debts to the Maratha 
treasury, whereas the expeditions of Balaji and Sadashivrao 

1 Tod's Rajasthan, vol. 2, p. 944. 

2 The name of Vijayasing is often corrupted to Bijaysing or 


had filled it to overflowing. When taunted by Sadashivrao 
with his extravagance, Raghunathrao bade Sadashivrao take 
the command and do better, a challenge that Sadashivrao 
readily accepted and Balaji unwisely approved. Having 
appointed the general, the Peshwa spared no pains to 
equip the army. It was the most splendid array that ever 
followed a Maratha leader. From Poona, Sadashivrao and 
Vishvasrao set out with Balwantrao Mehendale, Shamsher 
Bahadur, Naro Shankar, Vithal Shivdev Vinchurkar and 
Trimbak Purandare, twenty thousand picked cavalry, ten 
thousand disciplined infantry and a strong corps of artillery 
under Ibrahim Khan Gardi. At various points along the 
line of march Malharrao Holkar, Jankoji Sindia, Damaji 
Gaikwad, Jaswantrao Powar and Govindpant Bandela joined 
them with strong contingents. The Rajput chiefs sent them 
irregular horse and Surajmal of Bharatpur met them with thirty 
thousand Jats. The tents and equipment of the army were of 
the most splendid kind ; for, while Sadashivrao was willing to 
reprimand his cousin Raghunathrao for his reckless expendi- 
ture, he was not unwilling to profit by it or to occupy the 
gorgeous tents and to ride the noble horses, the cost of 
which had led Raghunathrao into debt. But, in spite of its 
great size and its glorious record, the Maratha army had one 
fatal weakness. It was suffering from a change in its tactics. 
It was forsaking the old guerilla tactics that had won the 
battles of Balaji Vishvanath and his son Bajirao, for new 
methods copied from the French, which neither the generals 
nor the soldiers properly understood. Such a situation 
proved fatal to Soubise's army at Rossbach and to Mackay's 
army at Killiecrankie ; it was soon to prove even more fatal 
to the grand army of the Marathas. 




(killed at 





(killed at 



Pedigree of the Sindia Family 
Ranoji Sindia (died 1750) 


(killed at 




(killed at 



(died 1794) 



(killed at 



Kedarji Anandrao 



= Baizabai Ghatge (1794-1827) 

Janakojirao (adopted 1827-1843) 

Jayajirao (adopted 1843-1886) 

Madhavrao (1886) 



Sadashivrao, full of self-confidence, led the confederate 
army to Delhi. On the march Surajmal saw with the eye of 
an experienced soldier the confusion and disorganisation 
behind the splendid appearance of the Grand Army. He 
urged Sadashivrao to leave his camp followers and his 
trained infantry at Bharatpur, and to harass the Afghans in 
the old Maratha way, until they started to retreat towards 
their native mountains. During the retreat they could be 
easily overwhelmed. Surajmal's advice was supported by 
Malharrao Holkar and the older captains. But Sadashivrao 
had seen the effect of Ibrahim Khan Gardi's cannon at Udgir 
and could not believe that against another enemy different 
tactics might be needed. He slighted Surajmal as a petty 
zamindar and taunted Holkar with his low birth. No un- 
toward event, however, disturbed the Maratha march before 
they reached Delhi. The fort was held in the Afghan 
interest by Yakub Ali Khan. Ghazi-ud-din, on hearing of the 
Maratha advance, had fled to the camp of Surajmal and 
disappeared from history. After the battle of Buxar in 1765, 
he joined Shuja-ud-Daula with a handful of followers. In 
1779, he was found at Surat in the garb of a pilgrim and 
ordered to quit the jurisdiction of the East India Company. 

Yakub Ali Khan's force was too small to guard the vast peri- 
meter of the Delhi fort effectively, and a Maratha leader 
named Vithalrao with five hundred men scaled the walls near the 
lion bastion and forced his way to the doors of the imperial 
zanana. Some Afghans rushed up and shot twelve Marathas 
dead. The remaining Marathas were seized with a panic and 
threw themselves over the walls. The siege was now begun 
in regular form. Ibrahim Khan Gardi battered the fort with 
his cannon for several days ; then the supplies of the garrison 
failed and Yakub Ali Khan offered to evacuate the fort, if 
allowed to join Ahmad Shah Abdali's camp across the Jamna. 


To lace page 63.1 


His offer was accepted and the Marathas entered in triumph 
the palace of the Moghul emperors. The city and neighbour- 
hood of Delhi had been exhausted by a succession of plunderers, 
and Sadashivrao' s army soon consumed what remained. 
Unable to raise cash levies from the inhabitants, the Maratha 
general stripped the tomb of Nizam-ud-din of its treasure and 
ornaments. This saint was the contemporary and intimate 
friend of Mahomed Tughlak ; and his sepulchre is still venerated 
throughout upper India. The tombs of the emperors were 
next plundered, and lastly Sadashivrao seized their golden 
and silver ornaments, the imperial throne and the gold canopy 
above it. These acts procured for him only seventeen lakhs 
of rupees, while they caused the greatest scandal among the 
Rajput and Jat princes. Accustomed as they were to regard 
the empire, even in its humbled state, with profound venera- 
tion, they protested strongly against this insult to fallen 
majesty. Neither to protests nor entreaties would Sadashivrao 
pay heed. He had formed the design of declaring Vishvasrao, 
on his father Balaji's behalf, the Hindu emperor of India, and 
he had only postponed its execution at the instance of 
Malharrao Holkar, until he had defeated Ahmad Shah Abdali 
and driven him out of India. In the meantime he took a 
pleasure in degrading the government that he intended to 
supersede. Surajmal had indeed offered to ransom the Moghul 
throne and canopy for five lakhs of rupees, but this had only 
confirmed Sadashivrao in the belief that they were of immense 
value. Surajmal and his Jat officers, deeply hurt, conferred 
with the commanders of the Rajput contingents ; and one 
morning Sadashivrao learnt that in the night the Jat and 
Rajput forces had left his camp and were marching home. 
Sadashivrao affected indifference. Towards the end of the 
monsoon he deposed Ghazi-ud-din's nominee, Shah Jahan, and 
put on the throne Shah Jawan Bakht, the son of the fugitive 
heir Ali Gohar. He appointed as the emperor's vazir Shuja- 
ud-Daula, whom he thus hoped to detach from the Afghan 
cause and with whom he began a prolonged correspondence. 

At the same time the town of Kunjpura, some sixty miles up 
the Jamna from Delhi, offered a tempting bait. Kunjpura, 
being interpreted, means the crane's nest. It had been built 
by Najabat Khan, an Afghan soldier of fortune, whom 


Nadir Shah had in 1739 created Nawab of Kunjpura. 1 He 
now held it with twenty thousand Afghans in the interests of the 
Abdali, and the latter had stored there a large treasure and a 
quantity of grain. On hearing of the Maratha advance, the 
Shah became anxious about its safety, but the Jamna in flood 
prevented him from relieving the garrison. Sadashivrao had 
been anxious to plunder Surajmal's lands as a punishment for 
his desertion ; but Holkar and the Sindias pressed on his 
notice the unguarded state of Kunjpura. On a day pronounced 
fortunate by the Hindu astrologers, the Maratha army 
marched against the doomed fortress. The Afghans made 
a gallant defence ; but on the 17th October 1760 the Marathas, 
attacking in three divisions, one led by Sadashivrao, one by 
Shamsher Bahadur and one by Ibrahim Khan Gardi, took Kunj- 
pura by storm. The garrison were put to the sword, except two 
kinsmen of Najabat Khan, who were tortured to reveal the 
secret treasure-house of Ahmad Shah Abdali. When they 
had shown to the Marathas fifteen lakhs of rupees, their lives 
were spared. No other prisoners were taken, Sadashivrao 
excusing his ferocity on the ground that Najabat Khan had 
been present at the death of Dattaji Sindia. Indeed, among 
the spoils of the capture was Javhergaj, the favourite elephant 
of Jankoji Sindia, which had been taken in the subsequent 
pursuit. This easy success so increased the pride of the 
Brahman general, that he and Balwantrao Mehendale taunted 
Malharrao Holkar with his defeat at Sikandra. The scarred 
old warrior was deeply incensed and left Sadashivrao's tent, 
muttering that jackals roared loudly until they had seen the 
lion. 2 

In the meantime the Abdali had helplessly witnessed the 
fall of Kunjpura and the massacre of the garrison. A fanatical 
Musulman, he now regarded the approaching struggle with 
the Marathas as a holy war, and sent Najib-ud-Daulat to appeal 
to Shuja-ud-Daula to join his ranks and to fight by his side 
in the sacred cause of Islam. Although Najib-ud-Daulat was 
a Sunni and Shuja-ud-Daula a Shia, the latter was won over, 
and the confederate Musulman and Hindu armies faced each 
other across the swollen waters of the Jamna river. After the 

1 Karnal Gazetteer. 

2 Bhausahib's Bakhar, 


storm of Kunjpura the Marathas camped at Pasina Kalan, some 
miles to the south and the scene of hard fighting during the 
civil wars that followed the death of the emperor Feroz Shah. 
They seem to have expected Ahmad Shah to try to cross the 
river higher up-stream, but after a brilliant feint he crossed 
the Jamna at Bhagpat, 1 between the Maratha camp and 
Delhi. He lost a number of men during the crossing ; but, 
to make the waters abate, he threw into the stream sheets 
of silver with verses of the Koran engraved on them. His 
guns he put on rafts or on the backs of elephants. He himself 
swam his horse across, and by the 25th October the whole 
Afghan army was on the right bank of the Jamna. On the 26th 
October, the Maratha vanguard attacked the Afghan outposts, 
but were repulsed with the loss of twelve hundred men. 2 At 
this point the weakness in the Maratha high command showed 
itself. If Sadashivrao intended to fight in the European 
manner, it was vital to him to keep open his communications 
with Delhi. If he fought in the old Maratha way, he needed 
no line of communications ; but he could not fight in the old 
Maratha way so long as he kept with him Ibrahim Khan 
Gardi's trained artillery and infantry. Malharrao Holkar 
begged Sadashivrao to stick to Maratha tactics, but that 
meant the sacrifice of Ibrahim Khan Gardi and his men ; and 
that soldier of fortune threatened to fire on the Maratha army 
if he was deserted. Sadashivrao rightly refused to sacrifice 
Ibrahim Khan Gardi ; but he did not grasp the difference 
between the two systems of tactics. Instead of retiring 
southward past Ahmad Shah's left flank and thus reopening 
his line of communications, he marched northward towards 
the town of Panipat, Ahmad Shah following him. In Panipat 
he fortified himself ; while the Afghans established themselves 
across the Delhi road. From that moment the Maratha army 
was in the gravest danger. Ahmad Shah was between them 
and Delhi. The fertile provinces on his right flank were in 
the hands of his allies, Shuja-ud-Daula and Najib-ud-Daulat. 
Behind the Marathas was the Punjab held by Afghan 
governors in Ahmad Shah's interest. For a short time, 

1 Karnal Gazetteer, p. 20. 
* Bhausahib's Bakhar. 


however, the Maratha army suffered no privations. The 
tourist who now visits Panipat can gaze from the highest 
point of the town over an endless succession of wheat-fields 
irrigated by the Jamna canals. So prosperous, indeed, are 
the inhabitants that they are accused by their neighbours of 
unduly wasting their time in pigeon races and quail fights. 1 
Even in 1760, it was a thriving town and the Marathas found 
stores of grain and other supplies, which they promptly 
requisitioned. Their next care was to fortify themselves. 
Under Ibrahim Khan's supervision they built an immense 
ditch fifty feet wide and twelve feet deep, and constructed 
ramparts to guard the Maratha camp and the town : of this 
ditch traces are still visible. Opposite the Maratha camp and 
barring the road to Delhi, Ahmad Shah Abdali fortified 
himself. Neither side was willing to attack the other, and 
both sides strove to obtain a superiority in light cavalry 
actions. It was clear that, so long as the main armies chose 
to remain stationary, the force whose light cavalry held 
the command of the open country would starve the other 
force out. At first the advantage lay with the Marathas. 
Govindpant Bandela, 2 who was in charge of the Maratha light 
cavalry, had a marked advantage over the Afghan horse by his 
superior mobility. 

On the 22nd November, Jankoji Sindia, the son of Jayappa 
Sindia, made a brilliant attack on the Abdali' s camp, drove in 
the outposts, inflicted severe loss on Najib-ud-Daulat's Rohillas, 
and captured several guns. He returned to Panipat, his war 
horns sounding a paean of victory. The Abdali moved his 
camp a considerable distance back and seriously thought of 
withdrawing altogether. He eventually decided to stay, and 
on the next new moon, which fell on the 7th December 1760, 
he sent a picked body of Afghans under Najib-ud-Daulat to 
make an attack on the Maratha centre. Balwantrao Mehendale 
surprised the Afghans and drove them back with great 
slaughter. Unhappily in the moment of victory Balwantrao 
Mehendale fell shot through the body. His fall caused 
considerable confusion in the ranks, and a band of Afghans 

1 I heard this gossip on the spot when inspecting the battle-field. 
8 For an account of Govindpant Bandela see vol. II, p. 225. 


rushed up to cut off his head. His body was saved from 
mutilation by Kbanderao Nimbalkar, but the Marathas with- 
drew. The Afghans, pursuing their advantage, followed them 
as far as the great ditch. There they were counter-attacked 
by both Jankoji Sindia and Malharrao Holkar, and driven back 
with a loss of three thousand men. Although the Marathas had 
thus the advantage, Sadashivrao felt deeply the loss of Balwant- 
rao, who was the brother of his first wife Umabai ; and the army 
mourned an officer distinguished in the Carnatic wars. 
Balwantrao's widow Laxmibai committed sati and was burnt 
with her husband's body. 

On the 22nd December, a far graver calamity befell the 
Marathas in the death of Govindpant Bandela. This enter- 
prising officer had cut off the Abdali's foraging parties with 
such skill that there was a famine in the Afghan camp. Both 
Najib-ud-Daulat and Shuja-ud-Daula pressed the Shah either to 
fight the Marathas or to retreat across the Jamna. But the 
Shah, who, although a ferocious barbarian, was yet a great 
captain, rejected their advice. " This is ", he said, " a matter of 
war with which you are not acquainted. Do you sleep ; I will 
take care that no harm befalls you." At the same time he 
rode about fifty or sixty miles a day, constantly visiting his 
outposts and reconnoitring the enemy. In this way he 
ascertained the movements of Govindpant Bandela. On the 
22nd December, he sent ten thousand Afghans under Atai Khan, 
the nephew of his vazir, Shah Vali Khan, to surprise the Maratha 
light cavalry camp. The Afghans reached Govindpant' s camp 
just after sunset and as they approached they displayed 
striped standards copied from Holkar' s. The Marathas, 
thinking the newcomers friends, let them come close to 
the camp. The Afghans then made a sudden rush and cut 
Bandela's force to pieces. Three thousand Marathas lay dead 
on the field. Many more died in the pursuit. Govindpant 
Bandela escaped on horseback, but, falling and breaking his 
leg, was taken prisoner. He was taken to Najib-ud-Daulat, 
who had him beheaded and his head sent to the Abdali. The 
Abdali in turn sent it to Sadashivrao. 

The destruction of the Maratha light cavalry division was 
followed by the worst results. The Afghans now obtained 
command of the open country and drove in the Maratha outposts 


and stopped all their supplies. The two armies had eaten up the 
entire country-side and food could be bought in Panipat only at 
famine rates. A long succession of easy victories had led the 
Peshwa to allow the officers and soldiers to take their wives 
with them on field service. With Sadashivrao was his active 
and daring wife Parvatibai, a daughter of the house of Raste, 
and Panipat was crowded not only with soldiers and their 
servants but with thousands of soldiers' wives and maid- 
servants. The cold, too, became intense. The horses and 
cattle died in hundreds, reducing the efficiency of the cavalry 
and poisoning the air of the town. Sadashivrao bore himself 
with calm courage ; yet he clearly saw the increasing danger 
of his situation. Through his agent Kashirai, a Brahman in 
Shuja-ud-Daula's camp, he made every effort to secure that 
general's intervention. But Najib-ud-Daulat would not hear 
of any treaty with the Marathas. His country had suffered 
from their raids and he feared their vengeance when the 
Abdali had departed. The high price of food exhausted the 
money in Sadashivrao's treasury, so he, the Sindias and 
Holkar erected mints in the camp and, melting down all the 
men's and women's gold and silver ornaments, they coined a 
quantity of rupees, which they stamped with the words 
"Bhaushahi", "Jankoshahi" and "Malharshahi", but this money 
lasted for only fifteen days. Sadashivrao organised cavalry 
patrols to accompany the foragers, and used to offer prizes 
and rewards for good work ; but, as the forage failed, the 
cavalry horses were too weak to go on escort duty. When 
the foragers went out without an escort, they were pitilessly 
massacred by the Afghans. 

On the 2nd January 1761, a determined attempt was made 
by the son of Govindpant Bandela, Balaji, to convey treasure 
from Delhi to Panipat. He took with him three hundred 
horsemen and tied to each horseman a bag containing five 
hundred rupees. Another body of five hundred horse 
were sent to protect those who carried the treasure. Un- 
happily the relief party wandered by mistake into the camp 
of a strong Afghan patrol. They were instantly attacked and 
only a few made their way to Panipat. Although the suffer- 
ings of the Maratha army were intense, Sadashivrao celebrated 
on the 10th January the Makar Sankrant with such pomp 


and circumstance as he could. Three days later, namely, on 
the 13th January, 1 the Maratha leaders begged to be led 
into action. They were ready, they said, to die on the battle- 
field; but they could no longer bear to starve in Panipat. 
Sadashivrao agreed and a council of war was held. Jankoji 
Sindia and Holkar urged the commander-in-chief to abandon 
his guns, his followers and his women, and under cover of a 
feigned attack to escape as best he could to Delhi, where 
there was a garrison of seven or eight thousand men under 
the command of Naro Shankar. The other Maratha chiefs 
supported Sindia and Holkar. Ibrahim Khan Gardi said 
nothing, and Sadashivrao, assuming his consent from his 
silence, ordered that all the leaders should make their way 
as best they could to Delhi and re-form there. After the 
council of war had broken up, Ibrahim Khan sought an inter- 
view with Sadashivrao and, showing him letters received from 
Najib-ud-Daulat, threatened to desert to the enemy, fire on the 
Marathas and disclose their plans, unless the previous orders 
were countermanded and a general engagement ordered with 
the object of driving the Abdaii into the Jamna, which flowed 
at the back of his camp. Sadashivrao was overcome by the 
anxieties of his situation and could not bear deserting the 
Hindu women to be a prey to the Afghan barbarians. He can- 
celled his previous orders and directed that next day, the 14th 
January, the Marathas should make a general assault on the 
Afghan camp. At the same time he wrote to Kashirai, his 
agent with Shuja-ud-Daula, " The cup is now full to the brim ; 
it cannot hold another drop. If anything can be done, do it 
or answer me plainly at once. Hereafter there will be no 
time for writing or speaking." This letter betrayed the 
Maratha plans ; for Kashirai shewed it to Shuja-ud-Daula, 
who at once took it to the Abdaii. That evening the food 

1 The dates are those given by Mr. Sar Desai. Grant Duff gives the 
6th January as the date of Panipat ; but the celebration of the Makar 
Sankrant shews the 6th January to be incorrect. The Musulman 
historians give the date as the 12th. Elliott and Dawson, vol. 8, p. 51. 

Indeed Mr. Sar Desai must be correct ; for in a letter written by 
Anupgir Gosair to Balaji Peshwa (Parasnis collection) he gives the 
Hindu date as Budhwar Paush Sud Ashtami, which corresponds with 
Wednesday, the 14th January. 


that still remained in his granaries was distributed by 
Sadashivrao to his army. Next morning his troops, as a 
sign that they would conquer or die, donned the saffron robe 
that Rajput warriors don under such conditions. They had 
some miles to go, and the Abdali's spies, warned of their 
approach by Sadashivrao's letter, watched their movements 
all the way. Neither side made effective use of its artillery. 
Ibrahim Khan opened the action on the left wing, where he 
commanded, by attacking together with Damaji Gaikvad the 
main body of Rohillas under Ahmad Khan Bangash that 
formed the Afghan right wing. The Abdali's centre was 
formed by the Afghan army under Shah Vali Khan, the vazir. 
On his left were Shuja-ud-Daula with the Oudh troops and 
another body of Rohillas under Najib-ud-Daulat. A picked 
body of Afghans under Shah Pasand Khan held the post of 
danger on the extreme left of the Afghan line and barred the 
route to Delhi. In the Maratha centre were Sadashivrao and 
Jaswantrao Powar and their right wing was formed by the 
Sindia and Holkar contingents. Everything that could in- 
spire the soldiers of the two armies was present on that day. 
The Musulmans remembered with pride that on that very 
field the lion-hearted Babar had won the empire of India. 
There, too, the great Akbar, when only a boy of fourteen, had 
defeated Hemo and had seen his Hindu rival thrown mortally 
wounded at his feet. On the other hand the great plain was 
full of memories of Epic India. It was at the village of 
Basthali (Vyas sthal) that the sage Vyas had lived and dictated 
to the god Ganpati the myriad lines of the Mahabharata. It 
was at Gondar that Gautama rishi, to punish them for seeking 
to rob him of his bride Ahalyabai, had sent a thousand sores 
to torment the god Indra and had darkened for ever with his 
curses the till then unsullied beauty of the moon. Panipat, 
the town in which the Marathas had lived for two months, 
Sonpat, a village visible from its walls, and Bhagpat, the spot 
where the Abdali had forced his way across the Jamna, were 
three of the five villages which Yudhisthira, rather than 
plunge all Bharatvarsha into warfare, had asked for as a 
meagre fief for himself and his four brothers. To the north 
stretched the field, where to settle the claims of the sons 
of Pandu and Dritarashtra, the chivalry of India had fallen 


almost to a man in the slaughter of Kurukshetra. There 
the generous Kama had died at the hands of his brother 
Arjun the archer. There Bhishma had lain on his bed of 
arrows while the contending chiefs guarded him from wild 
beasts and listened reverently to the wisdom of his lips. It 
was in the Parasir tank at Balapur that the brave but wicked 
Duryodhan had hidden from the wrath of Bhima ; and it was 
at the Phalgu tank at Bharal that the Pandavas had celebrated 
the funeral rites of the warriors who had fallen in the most 
terrible of all Indian wars. Nor were the prizes that hung 
before the eyes of the opposing leaders less brilliant than 
those that dazzled the eyes of Duryodhan and Yudhisthira. 
The Musulman armies fought to retain the last shreds of 
the Delhi empire, that had once stretched from the snow 
mountains of the north to the southern seas round Ramesh- 
waram. The Hindu warriors fought to throw off now and 
for ever the foreign yoke that had pressed on them since the 
fall of Rai Pithora, and to seat once again a Hindu prince on 
the throne of Dushyanta and Dasharatha, of Bharata and 

Ibrahim Khan Gardi had said to Sadashivrao before the 
battle joined that, although the latter had often complained 
because of his insistence on regular pay for his troops, they 
would now prove on the battle-field that they were worth it. 
This promise he nobly fulfilled. Charging the Rohillas with 
the bayonet, his disciplined troops destroyed their formation, 
killing and wounding eight thousand of them. This brilliant 
action laid bare Shah Vali Khan's right flank, and Sadashivrao 
charged the Afghan centre with the flower of the Maratha 
army. The Maratha cavalry broke up the enemy's centre and 
it seemed as if the day was lost for the Afghans. Ahmad 
Shah, however, had in hand a reserve of ten thousand heavy 
cavalry and these he now sent against the Maratha left wing. 
Ibrahim Khan Gardi had turned back his left flank to meet 
such a manoeuvre ; but in the fighting the left flank had 
moved forward, and Ibrahim Khan, severely wounded, was in 
no state to restore the formation. At the critical moment a 
bullet struck Vishvasrao in the forehead and he died at once. 
To Vishvasrao Sadashivrao was deeply attached. The boy 
had inherited his grandfather's looks, which had been famous 


throughout India ; and at this time he was one of the come- 
liest of the children of men. Sadashivrao had trained 
Vishvasrao himself and had been his constant guardian and 
companion in the Carnatic wars. The boy had returned his 
uncle's affection and seems to have loved him more deeply 
than even his own father. The sight of the gallant youth 
dead beside him in the same howdah was too much for a mind 
oppressed by the unceasing labours and anxieties of the 
preceding three months. He said to his wife Parvatibai that 
he could never again face his cousin, and, leaving her in the 
howdah, he mounted his favourite charger, a splendid Arab 
stallion. He sent a message to Malharrao Holkar, telling him 
to do as he had directed. His message conveyed, as it was 
probably meant to convey, the meaning to Holkar that he 
should revert to the earlier plan of battle and cut his way 
through to Delhi. Holkar rode off the field as fast as he 
could. Damaji Gaikvad followed. A body of Afghans got 
in among the camp followers and cut them up. A sudden 
panic spread through both wings. The centre still stood firm 
where Sadashivrao was fighting. He disappeared in the 
melee, 1 shot through the side, and then the centre broke too. 
Except the Holkar contingent, which followed their leader to 
Delhi, the routed army took the wrong direction and rushed 
back to Panipat, the spot which they had that morning meant 
to leave for ever. Behind them followed the Afghans, cutting 
them down by thousands. Great numbers crushed each other 
to death, trying to scale the high fortifications which they had 
built to check the Afghans. The survivors crowded into 
Panipat, round which the Afghans placed an investing force. 
Next morning the Afghans entered the town without opposi- 
tion and made all inside prisoners. They took the men 
outside the town, ranged them in rows, gave each one a few 
grains of parched corn and a drink of water, and then slashed off 
their heads, which they piled in heaps. The women they 
reduced to slavery, regardless of their birth or rank. In this 
way many hundreds of high-born southern women disappeared 
and were never heard of again. Jankoji Sindia, who had been 

1 The spot where Sadashivrao was last seen is marked by a monumen 
•rected by the Punjab Government. 


held to ransom by an Afghan, was killed in cold blood, and the 
gallant Ibrahim Khan Gardi, who had fallen wounded into the 
hands of Shuja-ud-Daula, was demanded by the Abdali and treat- 
ed so evilly that he soon died. Naro Shankar, 1 who had some 
seven or eight thousand men at Delhi, on hearing the news 
of the disaster, should have done his best to cover the 
retreat of the remnants of the army. Unfortunately, although 
an officer of high reputation, he seems completely to have lost 
his head. On the 15th January, he fled from Delhi with 
such precipitation that he left behind some forty lakhs of 
treasure. Naro Shankar' s flight added to the sufferings of 
the Marathas. The stragglers who escaped from Panipat had 
no place of refuge. When they wandered starving to Delhi, 
they were robbed by the mob. When they fled across country 
they were attacked by the peasantry and slaughtered. Others 
were stripped, robbed of their horses and plundered by the 
stalwart northern women, and sent to find their way naked, 
penniless and on foot to the Deccan. Malharrao Holkar 
made his way to Mathura and thence to Bharatpur, where 
he was hospitably received by Surajmal. In time some three 
to four thousand fugitives, including Shamsher Bahadur, 
reached the Jat country. There Shamsher Bahadur died of 
his wounds at Dig. The rest were hospitably entertained by 
Surajmal for eight days and given money to take them home. 2 
Damaji Gaikvad and Naro Shankar reached Baroda and the 
Deccan in safety. Parvatibai, Sadashivrao's wife, and Laxmi- 
bai, the wife of Vishvasrao, were taken to Gwalior by Janu 

The corpse of Vishvasrao was easily found and was sent for 
by Ahmad Shah. The Afghans crowded round it and wished 
to have it stuffed with straw and sent to Kabul. This inhuman 
proposal did not commend itself to the Abdali. Eventually 
Umravgir 3 Gosavi, a noble in the train of Shuja-ud-Daula, 

1 Naro Shankar's family name was Dani. He was a Deshasth Brah- 
man and the first Subhedar of Jhansi, which he founded. He was 
given the title of Raja Bahadur by the emperor, and is known in the 
chronicles as Raja Bahadur of Malegaon. 

2 Surajmal is said to have spent ten lakhs in helping the Marathas. 
Sardesai's Panipal, p. 205. 

3 Umravgir was the Gosavi's title. His real name was Anupgir. 



ransomed the bodies of Vishvasrao, of Tukoji Sindia, a 
full brother of Madhavrao, and of Santaji Wagh and Jaswant- 
rao Powar for three lakhs of rupees and had them cremated 
according to the Hindu ritual. For the body of Sadashivrao 
religious mendicants, sent for the purpose by Trimbakrao 
Purandare, searched long in vain. At last Ganesh Pandit saw 
beneath a heap of dead a corpse on which were some precious 
jewels. The head had been cut off, but some scars on the 
feet and back enabled Ganesh Pandit and the men with him to 
identify the body as Sadashivrao's. Thereupon Kashirai, 
Sadashivrao's agent with Shuja-ud-Daula, obtained leave from 
the Abdali to cremate it. 

Sadashivrao was greatly gifted by nature. He was an 
admirable financier, an able administrator and within certain 
limits a competent general. It was his country's misfortune 
that, after easy successes against the Nizam's armies, he was 
pitted against the warlike highlanders of Afghanistan, led by 
a skilful and experienced captain. His judgment was disturb- 
ed by the new tactics introduced by the French, and he neither 
grasped their limitations nor understood their advantages. 
He rejected Holkar's advice, but for this there was some 
excuse, as only shortly before both Dattaji Sindia and Holkar 
had been well beaten while following the tactics the latter 
advocated. The worst fault that can be ascribed to Sadashiv- 
rao is that on the day of battle he allowed his sorrow for 
Vishvasrao to overcome his sense of duty as a general. Had 
he not abandoned his elephant to fight as a common trooper, 
he could, if he had not won the day, at any rate have saved the 
army. A skilful retirement on Delhi would have enabled him 
to re-form and again to hazard the fortunes of battle. By 
acting as he did, he left the Marathas without a commander 
either to direct the retreat or to compel Damaji Gaikvad and 
Malharrao Holkar to share with their comrades the full burden 
of the day. Sadashivrao must also be blamed for postpon- 
ing a general action until hunger had wasted the number 
and strength of both men and horses. He had, it is true, 
sent for reinforcements to the Deccan, but his messages fell 
into the hands of the Abdali and his letters were destroyed. 
He waited too long ; he should at once on the death of 
Govindpant Bandela, either have fought an action or retired 


on Delhi. It is, however, impossible not to praise as well as 
blame. As the anxieties and the dangers of the siege grew, 
so grew his serene fortitude. Aware, better than anyone 
else, of the gravity of the situation, he hid his fears with a 
resolution so stern that the Abdali's spies never reported to 
their master the real misery of the Maratha camp. If he 
committed mistakes, he at least feared not to face certain 
death ; and our censure of the general's errors must be 
softened by our admiration for his endurance in adversity and 
his physical courage in disaster. 

Most of the letters sent by Sadashivrao and Vishvasrao to 
the Peshwa had miscarried. Nevertheless sufficient news 
came through to warn Balaji to send help to Sadashivrao. 
Unhappily he was engaged in the arrangements of his second 
marriage, 1 which, much to his first wife, Gopikabai's disgust, 
was celebrated early in December 1760. This delayed the 
Peshwa ; but after the wedding he moved northward as fast 
as he could. When he reached the Narbada, a letter was 
brought him by a banker. It contained the words, " Two 
pearls have been dissolved, twenty-seven gold mohurs have 
been lost, and of the silver and copper the total cannot be cast 
up." From this the unhappy prince learnt the fate of his 
cousin, his son and his army. It was not long before the 
fugitives confirmed the news. The Peshwa showed his 
displeasure to those leaders who had escaped the slaughter. 
He censured Vinchurkar and Powar, and he attached Malhar- 
rao Holkar's jaghir, which remained under attachment until 
after Malharrao's death. Unhappily Balaji was suffering 
from consumption, and the shock added to the disease soon 
killed him. He returned to Poona, stopping on the 16th May 
to perform on the banks of the Godavari the shradh or 
anniversary ceremonies of his father Bajirao. He reached 
Poona early in June, and built the first bridge across the Muta 
to bear the name of Lakdi Phul 2 or wooden bridge. On the 

1 Mr. Sar Desai's Panipat, p. 235. 

2 There is still a Lakdi Phul to the west of Poona city, but it is 
entirely of stone. The Peshwa's family were short-lived. Sadashivrao 
was 31 when he was killed. Chimnaji Appa died at 42; Madhavrao I 
at 27 ; Bajirao I died at 43 ; Raghunathrao died at 49 ; Balaji Vishwa- 
nath, however, lived to the age of 76 and Bajirao II to the age of 80. 


18th June, he went to his house on Parvati Hill. There his 
mind began to fail and he became thinner daily. In a few 
days, although barely forty years old, he died in the arms 
of his brother Raghunathrao. 

English historians have dealt scant justice to this eminent 
prince. And yet they of all others should have been generous 
to him ; for, by helping to destroy Tulaji Angre and by 
paralysing de Bussy in the Deccan and so giving Clive 
a free hand in Bengal, Balaji did the English the best turn 
ever done them by a foreigner. Without the real greatness 
of Bajirao, Balaji was a wise and far-sighted politician. He 
met with rare skill and firmness the crisis caused by Tarabai's 
intrigues and Damaji's rebellion. He reduced to a shadow 
the power of the Nizam, and, but for Panipat, would have added 
the whole of Southern India to the Maratha kingdom. 
Occupied in the south, he never found time, while Peshwa, to 
go to Delhi. Had he done so, he would better have under- 
stood the Afghan menace. Balaji's name was long cherished 
by the Maratha peasants for his success in improving the 
revenue system and the administration of justice. In the 
former he was aided by Sadashivrao ; in the latter his chief 
associate was Balshastri Gadgil. Balaji was an untiring 
letter-writer and no less than fifteen hundred of his letters have 
survived. In every campaign he sent to Poona a continuous 
stream of epistles, which show his unremitting zeal in the 
public service. In 1750, he founded in Poona an institution 
for the training of revenue clerks and officers. He made great 
efforts to improve the food and the transport of the army, 
and unquestionably equipped it and cared for it better than 
any Maratha ruler since the days of the great king. For one 
innovation, however, he must be blamed. He allowed, even 
encouraged officers and soldiers to take with them on active 
service their wives and families. 

Of all his cities Balaji loved Poona best. He spent vast 
sums in attracting to it learned scholars, devout Brahmans 
and famous poets. He encouraged trade, built fountains, 
improved roads, and created fresh peths or quarters. To one 
he gave the name of his cousin, to another he gave the name 
of his youngest son ; and Sadashivpeth and Narayanpeth are 
still populous and fashionable. He greatly improved the 


lake at Katrej and planted innumerable trees on the roads to 
Theur, Alandi, and Ganeshkhind. But the monument that 
to-day most vividly recalls to the visitor's mind this magnifi- 
cent prince is Parvati Hill. Before Balaji's time a tiny temple 
to Parvati crowned its summit and the shrine had acquired the 
reputation of curing sick people. Once Gopikabai, suffering 
from a sore heel, went to see the hill goddess and was cured. 
Her husband, to show his gratitude, erected the noble temple 
now known as Devadeveshwar. After Shahu's death Balaji 
placed in it Shahu's padukas or sandals, and thus the hill 
became a monument of the Maratha king. In the plain to the 
south the Peshwa gave great feasts and distributed charity ; 
while to the north he built a beautiful lake that for many 
years was one of the chief glories of Poona. Not only did 
Balaji honour the god Shiva's queen, he built also a temple on 
Parvati Hill to the god Vishnu, and on the eleventh of every 
Hindu month he went regularly to worship at Vishnu's shrine. 
Indeed, he so loved the hill that he built a palace there ; and 
when he felt death coming near, it was to Parvati Hill that he 
went to die. Nor has the Peshwa's choice been disapproved 
by later generations. A constant stream of visitors still go 
up and down the stone steps that lead to the summit of 
Parvati. Thence can be seen, like a map unrolled, Poona city, 
her sister rivers, the Muta and the Mulla, the shrine of Alandi, 
and the silver thread of Tukaram's Indryani ; while far away 
to the west the dark hill forts of the Sahyadris recall the days 
when Maratha armies rode forth to Delhi, and the fame of 
Balaji the Peshwa resounded from the Indus river to the 
southern seas. 



Letter from Vithal Shivdev Vinchurkar to Raghunathrao, 

complaining that the Peshwa had censured him. 

To Shrimant Dadhasaheb, with respectful compliments from Vithal 
Shivdev, Camp Gangruni, District Malwa, where the undersigned is 
doing well.— Letters from you are received by Subhedar Malharrao 
Holkar. We two are living together in the same camp, which you 
must have learnt from other sources. The reason that the Peshwa does 
not write to us seems to be his displeasure that we did not die on the 
battle-field. It is true that nobody can escape death. But one cannot 
help escaping it during the fated period of one's life. It was only the 
mercy of Providence that we recovered when severely wounded. How 
true it is that " Life means duty and that life provides for food ". 
Nevertheless we are smarting under a bitter sense of mortification. It 
is not that we have forgotten what happened. But the truth is, that all 
our efforts in the battle-field, good or bad, proved in vain, through the 
wrath of the Almighty. 

(Parasnis Collection.) 



Letter from Holkar' s diwan complaining of the attachment 
of the Holkar estates. 

To Shrimant Dadasaheb (Raghunathrao Peshwa), with respectful 
compliments from Vinayakrao and Krishnarao Gangadhar.— Your Lord- 
ship's despatch of the 11th to Tatya was received at Gangruni on the 
9th and its contents greatly delighted us. We note with pleasure Your 
Lordship's several directions about the affairs in Hindustan. The 
Subhedar (Malharrao Holkar) has sent Gangadhar Yashwant to Vazier 
Ghazi-ud-din Khan and Thakur Surajmal with a view to restoring peace 
and order in Hindustan. Your Lordship's observation that the 
Subhedar is the backbone of our policy in Northern India, is quite true. 
In days gone by, the late Peshwa Bajirao entrusted his interests to 
Malharrao Holkar. But this year, since the return of Shrimant (the 
Peshwa) from Sironje, it appears that the Subhedar no longer enjoys 
his confidence. There has been no neglect of duty on the part of 
Malharrao Holkar. The fugitives that took part in the Battle of Panipat 
must have seen Your Lordship and related the true account. What is 
the use of praising a defeat ? It is well known how Scindia and Powar, 
the old servants of the Sarkar, fared in the battle ! The news com- 
municated by Your Lordship about the confiscation of the Subhedar's 
mahals in the Deccan has brought on him a feeling of despair. He 
often complains that, if this be the fruit of his past services, what of the 
future ? 

{Paras nis Collection.) 



The disaster of Panipat and the death of the Peshwa were 
followed by a series of plots and disturbances. Tulaji Angre, 
although in prison, contrived to communicate with a nephew 
of Ibrahim Khan Gardi and to plot a rising on the day of the 
Peshwa' s death. Some eight thousand disciplined infantry 
entered Poona unperceived ; but at the last moment a letter 
from Angre was betrayed into Raghunathrao's hands. He 
acted with energy, disarmed the conspirators and confined 
Tulaji Angre with greater strictness than ever. 

Although the unfortunate Ramraja had for ten years taken 
no part in the government, such was his prestige as the 
descendant of the great king, that it was felt necessary to 
obtain his investiture for the new Peshwa. As Vishvasrao 
was dead, the next heir was Balaji's second son Madhavrao, 
known in history as Madhavrao Ballal. He was then sixteen 
years old, and nature had bestowed on him a ripe judgment, 
a high spirit and the talents both of a soldier and a statesman. 
His uncle Raghunathrao had hoped to conduct the administra- 
tion in Madhavrao's name until his nephew reached man's 
estate. In this ambition he was aided and abetted by two 
persons, his wife Anandibai and his friend Sakharam Bapu. 
Anandibai was a beautiful but wicked woman, whom Raghu- 
nathrao had married in 1755, on the death of his first wife 
Jankibai. Raghunathrao remained all his life deeply in love 
with her and still more deeply in fear of her. Sakharam 
Bapu's real name was Sakharam Bhagwant Bokil and he was 
Kulkarni of Hivare ; he was descended from Pantoji Gopinath, 
who had helped Shivaji to defeat Afzul Khan at Pratapgad. 
Madhavrao, although conscious of great powers, at first 
acquiesced in his uncle's self-formed regency. Indeed, the 
affairs of the state were in the greatest disorder. There was 
litttle or no danger, it is true, from the north. For the 
Musulman confederates had no sooner won Panipat, than they 
began to quarrel among themselves. Ahmad Shah Abdali had 
taken in his victory all Ibrahim Khan Gardi' s artillery, five 
hundred elephants, five thousand horses and twenty thousand 


\To face page 57.]; 


bullocks ; but of treasure he captured little or none. The 
result was that when he reached Delhi, which he did on the 
21st January 1761, and proposed to his Afghans that he should 
crown himself emperor, they broke into a formidable mutiny. 
They demanded their arrears of pay, which had accumulated 
during the previous two years. He contrived to appease them 
for a time by a forced loan of forty lakhs from Najib-ud- 
Daulat. But thereafter he confined his ambitions to the pro- 
vinces of Sind and the Punjab. He acknowledged the fugitive 
prince AH Gohar as emperor with the title of Shah Alam or 
" Sovereign of the Known World", appointed Shuja-ud-Daula, 
who had gone back to Oudh, vazir of the empire, and entrusted 
Delhi and the royal family to the care of Najib-ud-Daulat. On 
the 22nd March 1761, he struck his camp and returned to 

But, if there was no fear from the conquerors of Panipat, the 
gravest danger threatened from the east. Nizam Ali, who 
had usurped from his brother Salabat Jang the entire admi- 
nistration of the Moghul Deccan, prepared to take full advan- 
tage of the situation. In his design he was favoured by 
Tarabai, who openly rejoiced in the misfortunes of Balaji and 
the deaths of Sadashivrao and Vishvasrao. The Maratha 
chiefs were at variance with the Brahmans, and the Brahmans 
from above the Ghats sided with the Marathas against the 
Brahmans of the Konkan. Nizam Ali marched with all speed 
towards Poona, destroying and defiling, as he did so, the 
Hindu temples in his line of march. This conduct, as well as 
the judicious offer of the post of Senapati or commander-in- 
chief in the Maratha service, induced Ramchandra Jadhav to 
leave Nizam Ali and to join his own countrymen. In spite of 
this desertion, Nizam Ali pressed on as far as Urali, a few 
miles from Poona, demanding as the price of peace the can- 
cellation of the cessions made after the battle of Udgir. 
After continuous fighting from the 11th November, 1761, to 
the 8th January 1762, the Nizam was glad to confirm the 
treaty of Udgir and return to his own dominions. 1 

1 Grant Duff, vol. 1, p. 5, says that Raghunathrao relinquished 
27 lakhs of rupees out of the sixty-two lakhs granted by the treaty of 
Udgir ; but the Bakhars do not support him. Mr. Sar Desai in his 


In the course of the year 1762 Madhavrao determined 
to assert his rights. He was now seventeen and in every 
way fitted to conduct successfully the administration. Early 
in the year he had been as far as Sira, in command of a 
Maratha force, to collect the southern tribute. With him had 
gone Trimbakrao Vishvanath Pethe, the maternal uncle of 
Sadashivrao, affectionately known to all as Trimbakrao Mama, 
Baburao Phadnis and Gopalrao Govind Patwardhan, and they 
had urged him to beware of his aspiring uncle. Madhavrao 
now demanded a fuller share in the government. Raghu- 
nathrao at first scorned, and afterwards resented, the demand. 
On the advice of Sakharam Bapu he resigned his office as 
regent, and Sakharam resigned his as diwan, confident that 
without them Madhavrao would be helpless to govern. But 
they entirely misjudged the spirit of the young prince. He at 
once assumed the supreme control of the government in place 
of his uncle, gave the vacant office of diwan to Trimbakrao 
Pethe, and appointed Hari Ballal Phadke and Balaji Janardhan 
Bhanu as his private secretaries. Balaji Janardhan Bhanu is 
better known in history as Nana Phadnavis. According to 
the Peshwa's Bakhar, his grandfather Balaji and his great 
uncle lived at Velas in the Konkan, and gave shelter to Balaji 
Vishvanath when he fled from the wrath of the Sidis. After- 
wards the brothers went with Balaji Vishvanath to Shahu's 
court. It is, in any case, certain that for three generations his 
family had held high office ; and he had himself been brought 
up in the companionship both of Vishvasrao and of Madhavrao. 
Although only nineteen, he had seen considerable fighting and 
had been on field service both in the Carnatic and Hindustan. 
He had taken his mother north, as she wished to make a 
pilgrimage to Mathura ; and in this way both had been caught 
up in Sadashivrao's army. Nana Phadnavis escaped from 
Panipat but lost his mother there. He made every effort to 
recover her, meaning to take her back if pure, or to drown 
her, according to the stern Brahman creed, in the Ganges if 
defiled. At last he learnt from her servant that she had been 
killed by a fall from her horse, as she strove to escape from the 

article on Madhavrao in the July number of the Vividhdnan Vistar says 
that Raghunathrao granted nothing. This seems the more likely in 
view of the precarious state to which the Moghuls had been reduced. 


mad stream of fugitives that raced back to Panipat. Hari 
Ballal Phadke was about the same age as Nana Phadnavis. 
He was the son of a poor Brahman called Balambhat Phadke, 
a priest in the household of Baburao Bhanu, Nana's uncle. 
Nana and Hari had been close friends from childhood and this 
friendship lasted all their lives. Besides Nana Phadnavis and 
Hari Phadke, Madhavrao appointed Ramshastri Prabhune, 
of Mahuli near Satara, head of his judicial department. 
Ramshastri's 1 name is still remembered as a model of learning, 
uprightness and equity. Lastly, Gopalrao Govind Patwardhan 
promised his full support to the new administration. Raghu- 
nathrao had retired to Nasik on the Godavari and was hiding 
his wrath by the devoutness of his worship in the temple of 
Kapileshwar. That temple is the only known shrine of Shiva 
where no stone image of the bull Nandikeshwar will be found 
seated opposite the mystic sign of the godhead. The bull's 
absence is explained by a whimsical and charming story. On 
one occasion the goddess Parvati, it is said, put her hands 
over her husband Shiva's eyes ; but the great god was in 
no humour for fun. He opened bis third eye and with it 
burnt up the sun, the earth, and last, but not least, the god 
Brahmadev's fifth head. When Shiva had recovered his 
temper, he restored the sun and the earth, but he was not able 
to restore the fifth head of Brahmadev. As a punishment for 
burning off another god's head, he was condemned always to 
see it dancing before his eyes. The punishment was a very 
severe one, and, to rid himself of the vision, Shiva wandered 
all over India, visiting in vain shrine after shrine. At last he 
came to the banks of the Godavari, and sat down to rest under 
a tree. As he sat, he overheard a conversation between a 
young bull and a staid old cow, its mother. " To-morrow " 
said the old cow " our master will put a ring through your 
nose and, yoking you to a plough, will make you work for the 
rest of your life ". The young bull answered scornfully that, if 
its master acted so, it would gore him to death. The mother 
remonstrated that the master was a Brahman. " Never mind," 
said the young bull, " I know how to purify myself even from 
the deadly sin of Brahman-murder ". The god Shiva was 

1 For a fuller account of Ramshastri see appendix B to chapter 68, 


deeply interested. He thought to himself that, if the bull 
could purify itself from Brahman murder, he (Shiva) could, by 
doing what it did, purify himself from the sin of having burnt 
off one of Brahmadev's five heads. He went away, but next 
morning returned to the spot where he had heard the conver- 
sation. In a little time the Brahman came and tried to 
fasten the ring in the young bull's nose. The graceless beast 
threw him on his back and gored him to death. From being 
pure white, it became black with sin. Galloping off with its 
tail in the air, it plunged into the pool in the Godavari river 
where the divine hero Ramchandra had performed the obse- 
quies of his dead father. Such was the holiness of the water 
that the bull became pure white, save only the tip of its tail. 
This it had held in the air to shew its defiant spirit. The god 
Shiva watched the incident closely and immediately afterwards 
plunged into the same pool. The same moment the vision that 
had haunted him disappeared. To commemorate the punish- 
ment and the release of the god Shiva there was built close to 
the place where these events occurred the temple of Kapileshwar 
or the god of the head. It is the only temple in India, as I 
have said, where no bull kneels reverently in front of the god. 
For, whereas in other spots the bull is regarded as Shiva's 
servant, there the bull is regarded as the great god's teacher. 
The charm of this delightful legend was, it is to be feared, 
lost on the Maratha Achilles, as he sulked on the banks of 
the Godavari. Less fortunate than his prototype, he found 
that his absence produced none of the calamities that he had 
anticipated. Sakharam Bapu was deeply hurt at his super- 
session by Trimbakrao Pethe. Lastly, the beautiful and ambi- 
tious Anandibai resented her husband's descent from the 
regency to private life. Yielding to his anger and the counsels 
of his friend and his wife, Raghunathrao sought the help of 
the Nizam against his own nephew. Leaving Nasik. he went 
to Aurangabad, where the governor, Murad Khan received him 
in state and gave him a large contingent of Moghul troops. 
A treaty known as the treaty of Pedgaon was entered into 
between Raghunathrao, and Nizam Ali, who in 1761 had 
deposed his brother Salabat Jang 1 and was now Nizam of 

• Nizam Ali murdered Salabat Jang in 1763. 


Haidarabad. The price of Moghul help was the reduction by 
fifty-one lakhs annually of the cessions made by the treaty of 
Udgir, and the surrender of Daulatabad, Shivner, Ahmadnagar 
and Asirgad. Many Maratha chiefs, including Janoji Bhosle, 
despised Madhavrao as a child and supported Raghunathrao. 
Madhavrao equipped such forces as he could, and the two 
armies fought on the banks of the Ghodnadi river a series of 
actions between the 7th and 12th November 1762. At last 
Madhavrao, despairing of successful resistance, went unattend- 
ed to his uncle's camp and gave himself into his uncle's power, 
rather than continue a quarrel profitable to his country's 
enemies. To do Raghunathrao justice, he took no unfair 
advantage of his nephew's act. He put him under surveil- 
lance, but treated him with every courtesy. He made no effort 
to depose him, but took over the administration in Madhav- 
rao's name, giving out that his young nephew had been misled 
by the advice of interested intriguers. He displaced Trimbak- 
rao Pethe and restored Sakharam Bapu. With him he asso- 
ciated Balwantrao Mahadev Purandare, to whom he gave back the 
great fort of Purandar. He degraded Nana Phadnavis' cousin 
Moroba from the family office of the Peshwa's phadnavis or 
chief secretary, and gave it to Chinto Vithal Rairikar. He 
attached the estate of Bhavanrao (also known as Shrinivas) 
Pratinidhi, who had succeeded his uncle Jagjivan, and gave 
it to Naro Shankar Dani, who had disgraced himself at Delhi, 
to manage for his own infant son Bhaskarrao, born to him and 
Anandibai on the 26th February 1762. Lastly, he took Miraj 
by storm from Gopalrao Govind Patwardhan and confiscated 
his entire estate. 

The evil example set by Raghunathrao was now followed 
by his opponents. The Nizam's diwan was at this time a 
singularly astute individual named Vithal Sundar Raje 
Pratapwant, a Yajurvedi Deshasth Brahman. 1 He invited all 
the discontented Maratha leaders to join Nizam Ali, and 
Gopalrao Patwardhan, Bhavanrao Pratinidhi, the Nimbalkars, 
Moroba Phadnavis and his father Baburao, Janoji Bhosle and 

1 He was one of the 3| wise men of the Deccan. Sakharam Bapu 
was another and Divaji Pant was the third. Nana Phadnavis was the 
half. It was a case where the half proved greater than the whole. 


a host of others accepted the invitation. Indeed, of all the 
recent adherents of Madhavrao, only Nana Phadnavis and 
Hari Phadke remained loyal to their country. With this 
formidable accession of strength, the Nizam believed himself 
capable of overthrowing the Maratha state. He denounced 
the treaties of Udgir and Pedgaon, and proclaimed his intention 
of removing from the regency the Chitpavan Bhats and sub- 
stituting for them Janoji Bhosle of Nagpur. The kingdom of 
Shivaji would then once more be in the hands of a Bhosle. 
The Nizam would have been better advised had he declared 
himself the champion of Madhavrao ; for, by threatening the 
removal of the Chitpavan Bhats, he drove Madhavrao into his 
uncle's arms, who then had the help of his nephew's clear and 
resolute mind. Raghunathrao had also the experienced aid 
of Damaji Gaikvad and Malharrao Holkar, and at their advice 
he opposed to the invasion the old Maratha tactics. Evading 
a general action, he slipped past Nizam Ali and besieged 
Aurangabad. Failing to take it, he led his army into Berar, 
where they plundered the estates of Janoji Bhosle. From 
Berar they roamed up and down, laying waste the Moghul 
territories and extorting contributions of grain and money. 
Nizam Ali at first pursued them in vain. He then changed 
his tactics and marched straight for Poona, while Raghunath- 
rao, in turn, marched against Haidarabad. The threat did not 
divert the Nizam from his goal. He marched unopposed to 
the Maratha capital, whose inhabitants fled panic-stricken to 
Sinhgad. Camping outside Poona, he allowed his army to 
plunder it, and pulled down or burnt every house not ransomed 
by its owner. He then marched eastward, devastating the 
country between Purandar fort and the Bhima river. In the 
meantime Raghunathrao had reached Haidarabad, but had 
made no impression on its fortifications. After levying two 
lakhs from its suburbs, he followed Sakharam Bapu's advice 
and entrusted to that statesman the task of winning back to 
their duty the Maratha officers in the Nizam's army. 
Sakharam Bapu was first successful with Janoji Bhosle, to 
whom he disclosed the treachery of Nizam Ali. The latter, 
while Vithal Sundar had promised the regency to Janoji 
Bhosle, had himself offered it secretly to the Raja of 


Instead of a doubtful chance of the regency, Sakharam Bapu 
offered Janoji Bhosle an estate worth thirty-two lakhs a year 
out of the territory ceded after Udgir. Janoji, in turn, 
corrupted the other Maratha leaders with the Nizam and they 
agreed to desert on the first favourable opportunity. Elated 
by the success of Sakharam Bapu's negotiations, Raghu- 
nathrao hung on the flank of the Nizam's army, as he retired 
to Aurangabad, where he proposed to pass the monsoon. On 
reaching a spot calied Rakshasabhavan, or demon land, on the 
banks of the Godavari then in flood, Nizam Ali crossed with 
half his army, leaving his diwan on the other bank with a 
considerable force, including a chosen body of seven thousand 
Afghans and all the Maratha contingents. At this point Janoji 
Bhosle, whose troops were in arrears, picked a quarrel with 
Vithal Sundar and withdrew. The other Maratha leaders 
pleaded the monsoon as a ground for returning to their fiefs. 
These desertions were the signal awaited by Raghunathrao. 
On the 10th August 1763, he attacked Vithal Sundar's isolated 
force with the utmost fury. The Afghan troops defended them- 
selves bravely, and Vithal Sundar's leadership so inspired his 
men that they repulsed the attack and surrounded Raghu- 
nathrao and his favourite officer, a Prabhu called Sakharam Hari 
Gupte, who were seated on the same elephant. In the rear of 
the Maratha army was Madhavrao in nominal command, but 
really the prisoner, of fifteen hundred household troops. At 
this point the day seemed lost and the battle of Rakshasabhavan 
a mere repetition of Panipat. Malharrao Holkar, whose corps 
was in flight, came up to Madhavrao, who asked his advice. 
"Come with me to Poona " was the reply, "there a throne 
awaits you." The old soldier little guessed the heroic spirit that 
flamed within the breast of the young Peshwa. Turning furi- 
ously on Holkar, he said in a white heat of passion, " They 
spoke the truth then, who said that you were the cause 
of Sadashivrao's defeat and death at Panipat." Calling on his 
fifteen hundred men to follow him, and rallying every fugitive 
he met, the boy-prince charged Vithal Sundar's Afghans ad- 
vancing in the disorder of victory. Fortune instantly changed 
sides. The household troops cut their way to Raghunathrao's 
elephant and he once more took command of the army. Vithal 
Sundar, trying to re-form his men, fell shot through the chest. 


Nizam AH tried to re-cross the Godavari, but in vain ; and 
half his army, a moment before victorious, was slain, driven 
in headlong flight, or drowned in the flood of the swollen river. 
Nizam Ali withdrew to Aurangabad, which Raghunathrao 
tried unsuccessfully to storm, and then besieged. Nizam Ali 
was in grave peril. At any moment a conspiracy might free 
his elder brother Salabat Jang and restore him to the 
throne. He therefore took the step of visiting Raghunathrao 
in person, imploring his pardon and throwing the blame of his 
late errors on the unfortunate Vithal Sundar. Rughunathrao, 
save when under his wife's influence, was the simplest and 
best natured of men. He was completely deceived by the 
feigned penitence of Nizam Ali, forgave him everything and 
was still willing to give him the lands ceded by the treaty of 
Pedgaon. Of these, however, lands yielding thirty-two lakhs 
had been assigned to Janoji Bhosle, so that only land yielding 
nineteen lakhs remained in Raghunathrao's gift. These he 
gave ; but afterwards he was induced by his own advisers 
to limit the grant to one of only ten lakhs. 1 

The claims of Madhavrao, whose gallantry had changed the 
battle of Rakshasabhavan from a defeat into a victory, could 
no longer be ignored. Raghunathrao, genuinely grateful, 
freed his nephew from surveillance and accorded him a 
large share of power. Madhavrao's first step was to correct 
the errors that had estranged so many Marathas from the 
Peshwa's cause. He restored Miraj to Gopalrao Patwardhan 
and, on Bhaskarrao's death later in the year, the office of 
prathinidhi to Bhavanrao. The post of phadnavis was not 
given back to Moroba, but it was bestowed on Nana Phad- 
navis, his undivided cousin. As head of the state, it fell to 
Madhavrao to bestow on Janoji Bhosle the title-deeds for 
thirty-five lakhs' worth of territory. As he did so, he openly 
and vehemently upbraided the recreant Maratha, and con- 
demned in the harshest terms the recent treacheries of Bhosle 
and his accomplices. Having thus in no uncertain way in- 
augurated his accession to power, he proceeded to exercise 
it with a genius and vigour that placed him in the affections 
of his countrymen only second to the great king himself. 

1 This is known as the treaty of Aurangabad. 



While the Maratha power had been reduced by the defeat of 
Panipat, the war with Nizam Ali and internal dissensions, 
Haidar Ali's power had grown in the most extraordinary 
manner. We have seen how in 1760 he returned to Seringa- 
patam after the not unsuccessful contest withGopalrao Govind 
Patwardhan. After his return the young raja, Chikka Krishna- 
raj of Mysore and his mother sought to use Haidar Ali to 
displace Nandraj, the all-powerful Dalwai. This difficult task, 
Haidar Ali, aided by an able Deccan Brahman called Khande- 
rao, successfully accomplished. But, having seized the power, 
he declined to relinquish it and kept the raja as dependent as 
before. The king and his mother then won over Khanderao, 
who allied himself with Visaji Krishna Biniwala (commonly 
known as Visaji Pandit), the commander of the Maratha troops 
in the fourteen districts. But in 1761, the disaster of Panipat 
led to Visaji Pandit's recall, and thereafter Haidar Ali, by a 
combination of trickery and military skill probably never 
equalled, overcame Khanderao 1 and, confining him in a cage, 
became sole master of the Mysore kingdom. Subsequently 
he seized Bednur and, in consideration of a payment of three 
lakhs, induced Basalat Jang, the brother of Salabat Jang, to 

1 Khanderao proved Haidar Ali's equal in the field, but he was 
overcome by a strategy worthy of Aurangzib. Haidar Ali first won 
over to his cause Nandraj, the displaced minister, and then fabricated 
letters in Nandraj's name to Khanderao's officers, desiring them to 
surrender Khanderao in accordance with the pre-arranged agreement. 
The bearer of these letters let himself be caught. When Khanderao 
read the letters he fled in terror to the raja, leaving the army to shift for 
itself. Haidar Ali then attacked it and won an easy victory. The raja 
surrendered Khanderao on Haidar Ali's promise to care for him as he 
would a pet parrot. This promise Haidar Ali kept. On his surrender 
Khanderao was confined in a cage and fed on rice and water until his 
death. Bowring's Haidar Ali, p. 33, 


confer on him the Nawabship of Sira, which had become a 
Maratha dependency. In 1762, Haidar Ali on the strength of 
this grant drove the Maratha garrison out and installed himself 
as Nawab of Sira with the title of Haidar Ali Khan Bahadur. 
He had also tried to win to his alliance the Nawab of Savanur. 
On the latter' s refusal to break his treaty with the Marathas, 
Haidar Ali laid waste his lands and drove the Maratha garrison 
from Dharwar. In the end Haidar Ali's lieutenant, Fazl Ali 
Khan extended his frontier as far as the Krishna river. These 
continual insults to the Maratha flag forced Madhavrao to make 
his first campaign in the Carnatic. 

Madhavrao ordered Gopalrao Patwardhan, whose frontier 
as chief of Miraj extended to the northern bank of the Krishna 
river, to check Fazl Ali Khan's advance ; and for this purpose 
sent him a strong reinforcement from Poona. Patwardhan' s 
army was superior to Fazl Ali Khan's in numbers, although 
not in quality ; and in April 1764 he was tempted to engage 
Fazl Ali Khan in a general action before the arrival of the 
Peshwa, and was severely defeated. Madhavrao had been 
delayed by Raghunathrao's insistent claim to command the 
army. This claim Madhavrao with the utmost courtesy heard 
and rejected. In this difference Sakharam Bapu supported 
the nephew against the uncle, and Raghunathrao, overruled, 
again left Poona in disgust and went back to Nasik. Madhav- 
rao was now free to lead the army of the Carnatic. Early in 
May 1764, the gallant young Peshwa with thirty to forty 
thousand horse, an equal number of infantry and a great train 
of artillery, crossed the Krishna. Fazl Ali Khan fell back on 
Haidar Ali's main army, which lay in an entrenched camp 
between Savanur and Bednur. Haidar Ali's force, which 
consisted of twenty thousand cavalry, twenty thousand discip- 
lined infantry and twenty thousand irregulars, was greatly 
outnumbered. But Haidar Ali hoped that his enemy might be 
induced to attack his entrenchments, and concentrated his men 
within his camp. Madhavrao wisely declined to send his men 
against a fortified position, and, by sending his cavalry in 
every direction, soon cut Haidar Ali's communications. At 
the same time he sent detachments which rapidly recovered 
the Maratha districts seized by Haidar Ali Khan. Haidar Ali 
then changed his tactics and led out in person twenty thousand 


men, intending by a feigned retreat to lead his enemy to 
attack his camp. Madhavrao used Haidar Ali's own ruse to 
compass his defeat. Swarms of Maratha cavalry led Haidar 
Ali several miles from his camp, while the main Maratha 
army closed in on his flanks and rear. Only with the greatest 
difficulty and after suffering immense losses did Haidar Ali 
succeed in extricating himself. He fell back on his camp, 
which Madhavrao invested. A few days later Haidar Ali, in 
the hope of cutting off one of Madhavrao's detachments, 
moved out with a thousand cavalry, two thousand picked 
infantry and four light guns. He was attacked and so severely 
defeated that of his force only he and fifty cavalry escaped. 

The investment of the camp continued until the middle of 
June 1764, when the violence of the monsoon forced Madhav- 
rao to raise the siege and to canton his troops to the east of 
Savanur. But before the monsoon ended, Madhavrao passed 
large detachments over the Tungabhadra river and reduced 
the eastern districts of Bednur and the western districts of 
Mysore, while the dispirited army of Haidar Ali helplessly 
watched his operations from their camp. Early in 1765, 
Madhavrao renewed the investment with such vigour that 
Haidar Ali abandoned his camp and retreated on Mysore. He 
experienced the usual fate of those who have retreated before 
a Maratha army. Three days after the retreat had begun 
Madhavrao intercepted it and forced Haidar Ali to a general 
action. The result was a great Maratha victory. In killed 
alone Haidar Ali lost three thousand cavalry and six thousand 
infantry, and the shattered remnants of his army fled in the 
utmost disorder to the woods. The garrisons of the Bednur 
fortresses, Ikkeri and Anantpur surrendered after a feeble 
resistance, and Haidar Ali with such troops as he could rally 
took refuge in Bednur. By this time Raghunathrao had on 
Madhavrao's invitation taken over the command of the army, 
and to him the desperate adventurer made overtures of peace. 
Now, if ever, was the time to have destroyed this formidable 
foe. But the treacherous Raghunathrao was anxious to secure 
a retreat for himself, should his ambitious spirit find no scope 
in his own country. He therefore granted a most favoura- 
ble peace. All that Haidar Ali was required to do was to 
restore to Murarirao the fortress of Gooti and the surrounding 


districts, which he had taken from him on Murarirao's recent 
desertion to the Peshwa ; to give up all claims on Savanur, 
and to pay thirty-two lakhs of rupees by way of indemnity. 
On Murarirao the Peshwa was to confer the title of Senapati 
or commander-in-chief, in honour of his gallant kinsman 
Santaji Ghorpade. Madhavrao was not consulted as to the 
terms of peace, which were conveyed by Naro Shankar Dani, 
who at the same time entered on Raghunathrao's behalf into 
a secret understanding with Haidar Ali. Nevertheless the 
honourable boy, although rightly incensed, would not repudiate 
the treaty ; and in February 1765, upon receipt of the thirty- 
five lakhs, he began to withdraw his troops from the frontiers 
of Mysore. By June 1765 he was back in Poona. 

Madhavrao had acquiesced in the grant of lands worth 
thirty-two lakhs a year to Janoji Bhosle ; but he had not 
forgiven the treachery by which it had been acquired. Nor 
had Janoji' s subsequent conduct been such as to merit for- 
giveness. Resenting the public rebuke given him by the 
young Peshwa, he had been in constant communication with 
Raghunathrao's wife Anandibai in the hope of instigating her 
husband to a fresh rebellion. The secret service of Madhav- 
rao was excellent and he was fully aware of Janoji Bhosle's 
seditious correspondence. Determined to punish him, he 
found an ally ready to hand in Nizam Ali, who felt justly 
indignant at the perfidy that had cost him the defeat of 
Rakshasabhavan. Nizam Ali, too, was free to act with 
vigour. He had murdered one brother, Salabat Jang, and had 
reduced to obedience his other brother, Basalat Jang, who, 
after his dismissal from the post of diwan, had tried to carve 
out for himself a kingdom in the Carnatic. He readily listen- 
ed to Madhavrao's proposals, and in the cold weather of 
1765-1766. a combined army of Marathas and Moghuls 
invaded Berar, and on the 4th January 1766 forced Janoji to 
surrender three-quarters of the grants of thirty-two lakhs given 
him for his desertion. Of the twenty-four lakhs thus sur- 
rendered, Nizam Alisecured fifteen lakhs in return for a secret 
understanding to help Madhavrao in a campaign against Haidar 
Ali. Nizam Ali, however, was a broken reed. So far from 
giving Madhavrao any assistance, he entered into a secret 
understanding with Lord Clive to compass not only the 


downfall of Haidar Ali but the defeat of the Marathas. Nor 
was this all. Nizam Ali, at the same time, allied himself with 
Haidar Ali to conquer Arcot from Mahomed Ali. These 
facts were soon known to Madhavrao, and in the cold weather 
of 1766 he determined to act without his perfidious con- 
federate. Haidar Ali feared to meet the Marathas in the 
field, and tried to stay their advance by destroying the 
reservoirs, poisoning the wells, and laying waste the country. 
But his orders were not properly carried out. Madhavrao's 
force, hardly distressed by Haidar Ali's measures, overran 
the countryside, and by the end of March took Sira, Ouscotta 
and Mudgiri. At the same time Nizam Ali and the English 
threatened to cross Haidar Ali's northern and southern front- 
iers. Haidar Ali sent a Brahman called Appaji Ram to throw 
himself on Madhavrao's mercy. The envoy's ready wit and 
diplomatic skill won the fancy of the young prince and he 
agreed to evacuate the occupied districts on payment of 
thirty-five lakhs of rupees. Half was paid in March 1767. 
For the remaining seventeen and a half lakhs the district of 
Kolar was pledged. The balance was duly paid in May 1767, 
and Madhavrao returned in triumph to Poona. The demands 
of the English and Nizam Ali to share in the spoils were very 
properly rejected. 

While Madhavrao had thus been heightening in the Carnatic 
his reputation as a skilful commander, Raghunathrao had met 
with misfortune in the north. It was the young Peshwa's 
ambition to avenge Panipat and recover Delhi. But he held 
the wise view that he should finish his work in the Carnatic 
before attempting another more arduous task in the north. 
Raghunathrao, however, urged an immediate advance north- 
ward, and obtained from his nephew the command of a 
considerable force. In January 1766, he marched for Delhi, 
accompanied by Malharrao Holkar. Unhappily for the success 
of the expedition, the latter, wise and experienced in northern 
warfare, died on the 10th May 1766, at Alampur, leaving 
behind him the reputation of a dashing, and above all an open- 
handed, generous, leader. 

Deprived of his counsels, Raghunathrao failed to achieve 
anything. The Jats successfully disputed the crossing of the 
Chambal river. Raghunathrao, to punish the Jats, turned from 


the north and invested Gohad. It was successfully defended 
by the Rana, who from an obscure landholder had risen after 
Panipat to considerable power. At last, after a lengthy siege, 
in the course of which the lives of his men and the contents of 
his treasure-chest were alike squandered, Raghunathrao was 
glad to accept three lakhs of rupees as the price of his 
departure. He reached the Deccan in June 1767, after an 
improvident and futile campaign of eighteen months, shortly 
after his victorious nephew. Angry alike at his own failure 
and at Madhavrao's success, he again turned a willing ear to 
the poisonous counsels of Anandibai. He talked openly of 
becoming a religious ascetic and of retiring to Benares or 
Nasik, that he might pass his remaining years in penances 
and austerities ; at the same time he entered into correspond- 
ence with Janoji Bhosle. Madhavrao, aware of his uncle's 
treasonable activity, offered him a jaghir round Trimbak worth 
twelve lakhs a year, and the forts of Aundhe and Trimbak ; 
but nothing would satisfy Raghunathrao short of half the 
Maratha empire. This ridiculous demand Madhavrao sternly 
rejected and he watched his uncle's movements closely. Un- 
aware or disdainful of his nephew's observation, Raghunath- 
rao raised fifteen thousand men and obtained contingents from 
Damaji Gaikvad and Holkar's diwan, Gangadhar Yashwant. 
He also received promises of powerful support from Janoji 
Bhosle. Long before the latter could give Raghunathrao 
substantial aid, Madhavrao was on the march northward 
with a numerous army. On the 10th June 1768, he surprised 
his uncle's force in an open plain near Dhodap fort close to 
Nasik. Raghunathrao' s levies, outnumbered and outgeneraled, 
were driven into the fort and there forced to capitulate. 
Raghunathrao was taken prisoner and sent to the Shanwar 
palace at Poona. He was allowed to see his wife, and 
his recently-adopted son Amritrao ; but he was not permitted 
to leave the precincts of the palace or without permission to 
see other visitors. The charge of the state prisoner was 
entrusted to Nana Phadnavis. 

Having crushed Raghunathrao, it remained for the Peshwa 
to reduce Janoji Bhosle to complete obedience. He first 
renewed his alliance with Nizam Ali and, skilfully masking his 
real intention both from Haidar Ali and the English, suddenly 


led a combined Maratha and Moghul army into Berar by 
the road that leads past Basim and Karanja. Janoji Bhosle at 
first ordered his subhedar to oppose them, but his troops were 
beaten and their commander killed. Janoji then adopted 
different tactics. He conducted a guerilla warfare for some 
time with success, but came to realize that it was impossible 
for him to fight for ever against the immense resources of his 
enemies. He sued for, and was granted, peace. 

On the 23rd March 1769, Janoji Bhosle signed an agreement 
at Kankapur, by which he abandoned the remainder of the 
lands assigned to him as a return for his desertion at Rakh- 
shasabhavan. His military establishment was fixed at a cer- 
tain figure and could not be increased without the Peshwa's 
leave ; he was forbidden to correspond with the Nizam, the 
English, the emperor, or the Nawab of Oudh, and he was 
required to pay an indemnity of five lakhs and one rupee in 
five annual instalments. He was in fact reduced to the condi- 
tion of a subordinate ally, who could claim help if his terri- 
tories were invaded but to whom no independent relations 
with foreign powers were permitted. The Peshwa had now 
humbled his enemies at home and he was once more at liberty 
to consider Maratha affairs abroad. 



While Madhavrao had been engaged in reducing to obedience 
Raghunathrao and Janoji Bhosle, Haidar Ali had resumed his 
activities. By a series of skilfully-fought actions he forced 
the English at Madras to enter with him into a defensive 
alliance aimed directly against the Marathas, although their 
name did not appear in the treaty. Encouraged by this 
success, Haidar resumed offensive action against the Peshwa. 
Regardless of his previous engagements, he withheld the 
promised tribute and marched on Savanur, levying contribu- 
tions as he went. The Peshwa's fortunate campaign against 
Janoji Bhosle left him free in the cold weather of 1769, to 
chastise the faithless invader. Directly Haidar Ali heard that 
the Maratha armies were in motion, he retired southwards 
towards Seringapatam. As he retired, he sent an urgent 
demand for English help. That help, however, was not 
forthcoming. Haidar Ali, left to his own resources, sent 
Appaji Ram to treat. The Peshwa, who wished entirely to 
destroy Haidar Ali's power, demanded a crore of rupees as 
indemnity and twelve lakhs as arrears of tribute. He further 
asserted that, as the successor of the Adil Shahi king of 
Bijapur, he was entitled to the undisputed possession of the 
whole Mysore State. As Appaji Ram was empowered only to 
offer a payment of twelve lakhs, the negotiations broke down 
and the Maratha advance continued. It assumed no longer 
the character of a raid for levying contribution, but with the 
army went experienced civil officers, who took over the 
administration of each district as it was occupied. Without 
opposition Madhavrao reached Bangalore. Masking it by an 
investing force, he pressed on to Kolar, Nandidurg and 
Mulwagar, all of which he took by assault. At Nijagal, an 
inaccessible fortress thirty miles north-west of Bangalore, he 
was for some months checked by the skill of the commandant, 


Sardar Khan ; but on the first of May 1770 it was stormed by 
the Polygar or robber baron of Chitaldurg at the head of a 
body of Berads. At the beginning of June 1770, Madhavrao 
in the full tide of success was struck down by illness and com- 
pelled to return to Poona. With him returned his brother 
Narayanrao, who had been wounded in the hand at the siege 
of Nijagal. The campaign was continued by Trimbakrao 
Pethe, who added to Madhavrao's successes the capture, after 
a two months' siege, of Gurramkonda, a great fortress 
securely situated among the Eastern Ghats. 

Madhavrao had intended to resume command of the Maratha 
field force in October, but the state of his health prevented 
him. He, therefore, sent Appa Balwant Mehendale, the son 
of the gallant Balwantrao Mehendale, with a considerable rein- 
forcement to serve with Trimbakrao Pethe. Haidar AH had 
avoided the Marathas in the field, but had several times raided 
their camps and once or twice driven them from their new 
conquests. At the end of January 1771, Haidar Ali, 
learning that Madhavrao was not likely to rejoin the army, 
sent a strong detachment from Bangalore to recover Balapur, 
a strong place twenty-four miles distant, which the Marathas 
had occupied. Trimbakrao Pethe learnt of the enterprise and, 
overtaking the detachment, cut it to pieces. This defeat 
roused the indignant Haidar Ali to try a general action against 
Trimbakrao. He took up a strong position near Mailghat, 
hoping that Trimbakrao, relying on his superior numbers, 
would be tempted to attack him. But Trimbakrao, as 
Madhavrao had done, declined an engagement and overran 
district after district of Mysore. Haidar Ali was forced to 
retreat towards Seringapatam. At 9 p.m. on the fifth of 
March 1771, while Haidar was still under the effects of a 
carouse, Trimbakrao surprised and completely dispersed the 
retreating army in the Cherkoli Hills, taking its entire 
artillery, all its elephants and most of its horses. Haidar Ali 
with a few well-mounted attendants escaped at full gallop to 
his capital. There he formed a small corps for its defence. 
Trimbakrao besieged, but was unable to take, Seringapatam, 
and in June 1772 Haidar Ali sued for and was granted peace. 
The conditions were severe. He was forced to surrender all 
Shivaji's former conquests, including Kolar, Bangalore, 


Ouscotta, Balapur and Sira, as well as the fortresses of Mud- 
giri and Gurramkonda. He agreed also to pay thirty-six 
lakhs as indemnity and fourteen lakhs as annual tribute. The 
Mysore kingdom was now reduced to a smaller area than 
before Haidar Ali's advent to power, and Madhavrao could in 
future disregard him. But the vindictive adventurer vented 
his spite on Nandraj, the helpless Raja of Mysore, who had 
hoped to improve his condition by appealing to Trimbakrao 
Pethe. Haidar Ali had him strangled in his bath, and sub- 
stituted for him his brother Chamraj. 

At this point we must return to affairs at Delhi. The 
Abdali had, as I have already related, left Delhi for 
Afghanistan on the 22nd March 1761. Before leaving, he had 
acknowledged Ali Gohar as the emperor Shah Alam, and had 
entrusted the capital and the royal family to the care of Najib- 
ud-Daulat. Shah Alam had fled first to the court of Shuja-ud- 
Daula, the Nawab of Oudh, and, after the latter's defeat by the 
English at Buxar on the 23rd October 1764, had escaped to 
Allahabad, where he lived under English protection ; so the 
emperor's government was conducted in his absence by Najib- 
ud-Daulat. When Surajmal, the Jat chief, tried to remove him, 
Najib-ud-Daulat defeated him in an action, wherein the Jat 
chief was himself killed. Afterwards Najib-ud-Daulat success- 
fully defended Delhi against Surajmal's son, Jawahir Mai. 
In 1769 the Peshwa, freed from the menace of Raghunathrao's 
ambitions, was able to devote himself to affairs on his 
northern frontier. Late in 1769 a Maratha army crossed the 
Chambal river. The Poona troops were under the command 
of Visaji Krishna Biniwala, who had had considerable ex- 
perience of warfare in the Carnatic. He was joined by a 
large contingent under Tukoji Holkar and another under 
Madhavrao Sindia, the only surviving son of Ranoji Sindia. 
Jayappa had been murdered at Nagore ; Dattaji and Jyotaba 
had fallen at the Badaon Ghat. Tukoji, as well as Jayappa's 
son Jankoji, had been killed at Panipat. Madhavrao, although 
illegitimate, was clearly entitled to succeed to the Sindia 
jaghir. He had been severely wounded at Panipat but had 
recovered, except for a lameness that lasted all his life. He 
had eminent courage and rare capacity ; nevertheless Raghu- 
nathrao, who disliked him, tried to obtain a grant of the Sindia 


jaghir for Manaji Sindia Phakde, a distant connection. But 
the Peshwa Madhavrao overruled his uncle and in 1769 
Madhavrao Sindia was firmly established in power. 

Tukoji Holkar, who commanded the Holkar contingent, was 
no relation to Malharrao. The latter, as I have mentioned, 
had died in 1766. His son Khanderao had predeceased his 
father, having been killed at Kumbher, eleven miles north- 
east of Bharatpur. On Malharrao Holkar's death his estates 
passed to Khanderao's son Malerao Holkar. But the latter 
did not long survive his grandfather, and Khanderao's widow 
Ahalyabai became head of the administration. She appointed 
Tukoji Holkar, a trusted officer of Malharrao, to the command 
of the army. 

The combined Maratha forces first entered Rajputana, 
where they levied ten lakhs as arrears of tribute. They next 
invaded the Jat country, won a victory near Bharatpur and 
extorted a payment of sixty-five lakhs. The approach of the 
victorious Maratha army induced Najib-ud-Daulat to offer 
terms of peace. Madhavrao Sindia wished, in revenge for 
his wound at Panipat, to exterminate the Rohillas ; but Visaji 
Krishna Biniwala advised acceptance of Najib-ud-Daulat's 
offer, and his advice was followed by the Peshwa. The 
adhesion of Najib-ud-Daulat to the Maratha cause saved for 
the time his own possessions ; but Madhavrao Sindia was 
given a free hand against the other Rohilla chiefs, Hafiz 
Rahmat and Dhundi Khan, who had large fiefs in the Doab, 
the land between the Jamna and the Ganges. In 1769, he 
and Tukoji Holkar crossed the Jamna, drove the Rohillas 
across the Ganges and occupied the fortress of Etawah, by 
which they overawed the entire Doab. They now conceived 
the brilliant idea of inducing Shah Alam to leave Allahabad 
and to exchange the protection of the English for that of the 
Marathas. They held out glowing hopes to the vain and 
foolish prince, and dazzled his eyes with the promised glories 
of an empire swayed by him and protected from foreign 
aggression by Maratha swords and Maratha valour. Shah 
Alam yielded to the lure of a pageant throne, and, leaving his 
English protectors, joined the camp of Madhavrao Sindia. In 
December 1771, the emperor, escorted by Visaji Krishna 
Biniwala and a great Maratha army entered his capital. On 


Shah Alam Madhavrao Sindia pressed the conquest of Rohil- 
khand. In October 1769, Najib-ud-Daulat died and his son 
Zabita Khan succeeded to his territories. To Zabita Khan 
the emperor bore an intense enmity, as he suspected the 
young Rohilla of having debauched his sister Kherunnissa as 
well as other ladies of the imperial household. He readily 
accepted Madhavrao Sindia's view ; and in January 1772, an 
army of ninety thousand men invaded the fief of Zabita Khan. 
The Maratha cavalry was commanded by Madhavrao Sindia. 
The small Moghul force was led by Najib Khan, an officer 
in the imperial service. Zabita Khan tried to hold the 
northern bank of the Ganges ; but the imperial army crossed 
the river with ease. The Rohillas lost all courage. Zabita 
Khan and the other chiefs fled to the hills, and the Marathas 
plundered the whole of Rohilkhand and captured the ladies of 
Zabita Khan's household, whom they held to ransom for one 
and a half lakhs. Afterwards they resold Rohilkhand to 
Zabita Khan, and made the emperor grant to them in return 
for their protection the districts of Kora and Allahabad, which 
were in the respective possession of Shuja-ud-Daula and the 
English. The emperor's dominions were by these means 
reduced to the single town of Delhi, and he bitterly regretted 
the step he had taken. In a fit of despair, he directed 
Najib Khan to drive the Maratha army from Delhi. Visaji 
Krishna Biniwala had not expected this step on the part of 
Shah Alam, and perhaps felt some remorse for the scant 
courtesy with which he had treated the emperor. He withdrew 
his troops and sent to Poona for orders. To this despatch he 
received no immediate reply. For on the 18th November 
1772, the greatest of the Peshwas had died in his twenty- 
eighth year. 

In June 1770, Madhavrao had been forced, as already 
mentioned, to abandon to Trimbakrao the command of the 
army of the Carnatic ; and, although his health improved 
during the monsoon of 1770, directly he got ready to leave 
Poona on field service he had a relapse. He had an inherited 
tendency to consumption ; for from that disease both Chim- 
naji Appa and Balaji had fallen victims. Gradually it 
took a firmer hold of the young prince's frame. A 
ballad in the Shaligram collection declares that, finding his 


end near, he went in state with his beautiful young wife 
Ramabai to Theur, a favourite spot of his, some thirteen miles 
from Poona. There Ramabai poured out continuous prayers 
to the family god Ganpati. But the latter appeared to her in 
a vision and told her that the matter was not in his but in 
Vishnu's hands. Ramabai then made her prayers to Laxmi's 
spouse, but to no purpose. Finding that nothing she could 
do would save her husband, she resolved to face death beside 
him. On the demise of the gallant young prince, she burnt 
herself on the same pyre, in spite of all the efforts of her 
family to dissuade her. 1 

The youth and early manhood of Madhavrao had been 
spent in the service of his country. While still a child he had 
assumed the vast burden of the Maratha empire. Threatened 
both by domestic and foreign enemies, he had triumphed 
signally over all. Yet his triumphs had brought him no rest. 
For, victorious over his foes, he had spent his remaining years 
in tireless labour to better the condition of his people. 
Every department was quickened by his supervision, his 
industry and his example. His secret intelligence was fault- 
less, and, no matter how remote the officer guilty of acts of 
tyranny, he rarely escaped punishment. The Peshwa's armies 
went well equipped on service, for the entire military organi- 
sation was under his direct control. Quick to anger, he was 
no less quick to forgive. And the only fault that the harshest 
critic can find in this admirable ruler is that he shortened a 
life, precious to his people, by his arduous and unceasing toil. 

1 The writer had the signal honour of unveiling a vrindavan erected 
by the Chinchwad vSansthan at Theur in honour of this heroic princess. 



The last days of the dead Peshwa had been embittered by 
fears for his brother Narayanrao, who, since Madhavrao had 
no issue, was his natural heir and successor. Narayanrao 
lacked the eminent qualities of Madhavrao. He was only 
seventeen at his accession, and was a heedless and somewhat 
mischievous boy. Madhavrao indeed exclaimed once with 
prophetic insight that the word rajya or rule was not 
written on his brother's forehead. 1 He endeavoured to train 
Narayanrao according to his own stern ideals. He took him 
to the Carnatic, where, as already related, Narayanrao received 
a wound in the hand. By his example and precept he tried to 
plant in his younger brother's heart his own serene courage. 
In this connection a well-known story is related in the Peshwa's 
bakhar. Once Madhavrao and Narayanrao, Khanderao Dare- 
kar and Hiraji Patankar were seated together in a tent, 
when a mast elephant broke loose and rushed towards the 
Peshwa's tent. Narayanrao was frightened and would have 
run away. But the Peshwa put his hand on the boy's arm 
and checked him, saying, " No harm can come to us if we are 
not destined to be killed by the elephant ". Narayanrao sat 
down again, but the danger had not passed ; for the elephant 
broke into the tent. There, however, it was attacked by 
Khanderao Darekar and Hiraji Patankar with daggers and 
lances. They stopped it until its mahout came up and mount- 
ed it. When Madhavrao's health no longer allowed his 
personal supervision, he, for six months before his death, 
made Sakharam Bapu instruct Narayanarao in administrative 
duties. In this way Narayanrao improved considerably. But 
the real danger, as Madhavrao foresaw, was the restless 
ambition of Raghunathrao, and above all of his wife Anandi- 
bai. They both had fretted greatly at his imprisonment 
and in 1772 Raghunathrao had corrupted his guards and 

1 Adhikar Yog by Mr. Khare, p. 7. 


escaped from the Shanwar palace and fled to Tuljapur. He 
was retaken and imprisoned with greater severity. Neverthe- 
less, what he had done before, he could do again ; and 
Madhavrao feared that upon his own death Raghunathrao 
would break his bonds and seize the throne. There were only 
two sure methods of dealing with him. The first was by his 
execution and the second was by reconciliation. The kindly 
spirit of the Peshwa recoiled from the first ; he therefore 
adopted the second method. On the 16th October 1772 1 
Madhavrao sent for his uncle from Poona to Theur, and in the 
presence of Sakharam Bapu was solemnly reconciled to him. 
He obtained from Raghunathrao a promise that he would 
act rightly by his nephew Narayanrao, and thereafter he set 
Raghunathrao at liberty. After Madhavrao's death and the 
completion of his funeral ceremonies, Narayanrao went to 
Satara fort, where the pageant king Ramraja formally invest- 
ed him with the office of Peshwa. He then returned to Poona. 
Raghunathrao at first kept his promise, and for a month or six 
weeks uncle and nephew were on the most amicable terms. 
But the former was wholly under the influence of his wife 
Anandibai ; while the latter was equally submissive to his 
mother Gopikabai. And the contending passions of two 
jealous and ambitious women set at nought the hopes and 
intentions of the dead Peshwa. Gopikabai urged on her son 
that it was impossible that Raghunathrao could forgive the 
past, and begged Narayanrao to confine him as before. On 
the 11th April 1773, in spite of the protests of Sakharam 
Bapu and Nana Phadnavis, Narayanrao had his uncle arrested 
and confined in the Shanwar palace, close to the Peshwa's own 
apartments. Narayanrao continued Sakharam Bapu in office 
as diwan, but he placed his chief confidence in Hari Ballal 
Phadke and a certain Babaji Barve. He also relied on the 
wisdom of Nana Phadnavis and of the latter's cousin, Moroba 
Baburao Phadnavis. Confident that he had effectually check- 
ed Raghunathrao" s designs, Narayanrao left Poona to receive 
the congratulations of his mother Gopikabai, then at Ganga- 
pur. Raghunathrao, however, had still many supporters, and 
in the Peshwa's absence Anandibai tried to secure her 

1 Mr. Sar Desai's article in the July number of the Vivid hdnyan 
Vistar, p. 292. 


husband's escape to Haidar Ali at Mysore. The plot was 
discovered and Raghunathrao was confined more strictly than 
ever. This exasperated Anandibai and she wove a far-reaching 
plot to destroy Narayanrao and to put her husband on the 
throne in his place. In this plot she was aided by a number 
of Kayastha Prabhus, the agents of Mudhoji Bhosle. Janoji 
Bhosle had been present at Theur when Madhavrao died, and 
before the Peshwa's death had obtained leave to adopt 
Raghuji Bhosle, the eldest son of his brother Mudhoji. In 
May 1772 Janoji Bhosle died, and a quarrel arose between 
his brothers Mudhoji and Sabaji as to the guardianship of the 
adopted boy, who was still a minor. The brothers flew to 
arms and both appealed to the Peshwa. Narayanrao favoured 
Sabaji, while Raghunathrao favoured Mudhoji. When the 
latter sent his Prabhu agents to confer with Raghunathrao, 
they found him in prison ; and they readily agreed to help 
Anandibai to compass his release from confinement and his 
accession to power. They found tools in the regular infantry 
known as Gardis, who were discontented at the stricter 
discipline recently introduced by Narayanrao, who longed for 
military glory in the Carnatic. Their leaders were Sumersing 
Kharaksing and Mahomed Yusuf, and they willingly promised 
to restore to power Raghunathrao, from whose easy-going 
and generous nature they expected ample concessions. The 
plot was so widespread that it was impossible wholly to 
conceal it, and it came to the ears of Raghuji Angre, who on 
the morning of the 30th August warned the Peshwa. The 
latter repeated the warning to Hari Ballal Phadke and thought 
no more of the matter. Hari Ballal Phadke treated it as idle 
gossip, and, taking no steps whatever, actually left the palace 
to have breakfast with a friend. The young Peshwa, who had 
been to Parvati Hill, breakfasted late and then went to rest. 

In the meantime Sumersing had secured from Raghunath- 
rao a paper which contained a promise to distribute nine 
lakhs among the regular infantry, provided they seized 
Narayanrao. The paper had passed through Anandibai's 
hands and she had changed the word dharave (seize) into 
marave (kill). Sumersing had now in his possession written 
orders to murder the Peshwa. At 2 p.m. he collected some 
two thousand men and massed them at the northern or 


[To face page 204. j 


Delhi gate of the Shanwar Palace. The regular infantry on 
duty there under Kharaksing joined Sumersing, and the 
combined force, overpowering the loyal troops, forced their 
way into the upper rooms and began to kill every one whom 
they met. Icharam Dhere, the head of the household 
cavalry, 1 fled into a cowshed, but the Musulman sepoys, drunk 
with blood, followed him and killed every man and beast 
in the place. Narayanrao, who was sleeping heavily, did 
not wake up until the rebels were actually in his apartments. 
He fled to the rooms where his uncle was confined, and begged 
him to save him. Raghunathrao, who had never ordered his 
murder, would willingly have done so ; but Sumersing, who 
knew nothing of Anandibai's forgery, would not listen. He, 
Kharaksing, Mahomed Yusuf and one Tulaji Powar, a 
personal servant of Raghunathrao, tore Narayanrao from 
Raghunathrao' s arms. The Peshwa's two servants, Naroba 
Phatak and Chaphaji Tilekar threw themselves unarmed 
between their master and his murderers ; but their sacrifice 
was in vain. In a few seconds all three were dead. The 
regular infantry then plundered the palace ; and it was not till 
they had stripped it of everything valuable, that they returned 
to Raghunathrao and saluted him as Peshwa. 

Raghunathrao, genuinely alarmed at what had happened, 
pretended that he was entirely guiltless in the matter 
and that Narayanrao had fallen the victim of a military 
tumult. At the same time he took steps to secure his 
nephew's inheritance. He sent for Maloji Ghorpade, Bajaba 
Purandare and Bhavanrao Pratinidhi, and tried to convince 
them of his innocence. He also ordered Sakharam Bapu, 
Trimbakrao Pethe, Hari Ballal Phadke and the other promi- 
nent figures at the Peshwa's court to arrange for Narayanrao's 
funeral ceremonies. Gangabai, Narayanrao's widow was 
anxious to commit sati ; but Anandibai, who feared the 
effect of a sati's curse, locked her in her room. In spite of 
Raghunathrao's protests and precautions, the conviction of his 
guilt rapidly gained ground. On the " Tilanjali " or the tenth 
day after Narayanrao's murder, when sesamum seed soaked 
in water was poured out as a libation to the dead man's 

1 Peshwa's Bakhar. 


spirit, Trimbakrao Pethe, Nana Phadnavis, Hari Ballal Phadke 
and nine others known in history as the Barabhai or twelve 
brothers bound themselves by an oath to frustrate Raghunath- 
rao's ambitions. For a time Raghunathrao's cause seemed to 
prosper. He obtained clothes of investiture from Ramraja 
at Satara, and began to form an administration. He confirmed 
Sakharam Bapu as diwan, but he gave his chief confidence to 
Chinto Vithal Rairikar and Sakharam Hari Gupte. The 
latter, as a leader of the Prabhu caste in Poona and also 
because of his distinguished gallantry at Rakshasabhavan, 
was a particular friend of the new Peshwa. 

The foreign affairs of the state, indeed, required the closest 
attention. Narayanrao on becoming Peshwa had replied to 
Visaji Krishna Biniwala's despatch by ordering him to drive 
Najaf Khan from Delhi. Lack of funds had reduced the 
latter's forces to five thousand cavalry and four battalions of 
infantry, two of which were disciplined and commanded by a 
Frenchman called Medoc. Nevertheless Najaf Khan with 
undaunted spirit drew up his small force two miles outside 
the city, his rear being protected by the guns of Delhi. He 
repulsed a general attack of the Maratha horse, but, foolishly 
pursuing them too far, was surrounded and escaped with 
difficulty. The two disciplined battalions sustained the 
weight of the Maratha attack all day and retired into the city 
under cover of night. Next day the Marathas encamped 
under the walls. Shah Alam had no longer any hope of a 
successful defence. He admitted the Marathas into the capital 
and accepted their terms. They were not severe. Najaf 
Khan was dismissed from the emperor's service and Zabita 
Khan was appointed the imperial commander-in-chief, nomi- 
nally as the deputy of the Peshwa. Shah Alam also formally 
granted to the Marathas the two provinces of Allahabad and 
Kora. But the English refused to permit the Maratha occu- 
pation, and in May 1773 Narayanrao, who was proposing to 
lead in person the entire military forces of the kingdom to the 
conquest of the Carnatic, recalled Visaji Krishna and his army. 
After Visaji's recall the Maratha power in northern India 
declined. Najaf Khan returned to Delhi and Shuja-ud-Daula 
drove the Marathas from Etawah, their stronghold in the 


On the eastern frontier Nizam Ali was again actively offen- 
sive. He had allied himself to Sabaji Bhosle and had helped 
to establish him as ruler of Berar. In the south Haidar Ali 
was still more aggressive. Aware of the disputes between 
Narayanrao and Raghunathrao, he had through 1773 carefully 
equipped his army to be ready at a moment's notice. On 
hearing of Narayanrao's murder, he at once despatched his 
son Tipu with a large force to recover the country taken from 
him by Madhavrao. In a short and brilliant campaign he won 
back all his lost possessions. 

It was against Nizam Ali that Raghunathrao first decided 
to move. Early in November 1773, before the rains had 
ceased and before Nizam Ali had mobilised his troops or 
could effect a junction with Sabaji Bhosle, Raghunathrao 
had crossed the frontier. Nizam Ali collected what troops he 
could and hastened to meet the invaders. He was beaten in 
the field and forced to take shelter in the great fort of Bedar, 
where he was soon closely invested. In despair he sued for 
peace and offered to cede lands worth twenty lakhs a year. 
Raghunathrao refused the offer. Nizam Ali obtained an 
armistice and then took a step which showed how accurately 
he gauged his opponent's character. 1 Without informing his 
staff, and accompanied only by two hundred troopers and his 
minister, Rukn-ud-Daula, he rode into the Maratha camp and 
up to the door of Raghunathrao 's tent. The latter received 
his visitor courteously and led him inside. There the Nizam 
stripped from his neck his ornaments and threw them, as well 
as his sword and shield, at Raghunathrao's feet, and implored 
his conqueror to take such of his possessions as he needed. 
Raghunathrao's vanity and generosity were alike touched, and 
in a foolish moment he gave back to the Nizam his jewels 
and his arms and refused to take any ransom from his 
suppliant. Not content with this, he bestowed on the Nizam 
handsome robes and gave several banquets in his honour. 
Having thus lost by his weakness not only the prizes but the 
cost of the war, he bade the Nizam good-bye and turned 
southwards towards the Carnatic. 

1 Chitnis Bakhar. p. 40. The incident is related somewhat differently 
in Grant Duff, vol. 2, p. 10. 


Raghunathrao had always been on friendly terms with 
Haidar Ali, regarding him no doubt as a possible ally. He 
would, therefore, in any case have been satisfied with the 
return of the districts ceded to Madhavrao, but, by the time 
he had reached Bellari, he had received news of so grave a 
character that he was glad to accept a cash payment of six 
lakhs, and a promise from Haidar Ali to pay an annual tribute 
of six lakhs to Raghunathrao personally, and to support him 
against all other claimants to the office of Peshwa. Having 
thus failed to achieve anything substantial against either 
of the Musulman powers, Raghunathrao took the direction of 

The news that had alarmed Raghunathrao was the 
growth of the conspiracy of the Barabhai or twelve brothers, 
set on foot by Nana Phadnavis and the other takers of the 
Tilanjali oath. They had first secured the adhesion of 
Sakharam Bapu, whose judgment was growing clouded with 
age, and who resented the peculiar favour shown by Raghu- 
nathrao to his Prabhu namesake, Sakharam Hari Gupte. 
Gradually the plot came to include most of the prominent 
officers of the state, and to them were joined three ladies of 
the Peshwa's family — Parvatibai, the widow of Sadashivrao, 
Gopikabai, the widow of Balaji Bajirao, and Gangabai, the 
widow of Narayanrao Ballal. A day or two before Narayan- 
rao's death, he had informed his intimates that Gangabai was 
enceinte. The conspirators thus hoped to displace Raghu- 
nathrao by a son of Narayanrao. Anandibai was aware that 
Gangabai had hopes of issue, and had forced her to take 
drugs, so as to procure a miscarriage. But the drugs had 
been without effect, and as time passed it became certain that 
Gangabai was about to become a mother. Had Anandibai 
been in Poona, she would assuredly have killed Gangabai ; 
but she had gone on field service with Raghunathrao and the 
army. In January 1774 Nana Phadnavis, who had charge of 
Gangabai's affairs, arrested some armed men, who confessed 
that they were assassins sent by Anandibai to murder Ganga- 
bai. This gave the desired excuse. On the 30th February, 
Parvatibai was sent in charge of Gangabai to Purandar fort ; 
and with them was made to go Durgabai, Anandibai's 
daughter, so that she might be a witness of Gangabai's 


confinement. 1 Having done this, the conspirators openly 
formed themselves into a regency to govern the country for 
Narayanrao's widow and unborn son. At the same time they 
arrested all Raghunathrao's adherents, and entered into a 
correspondence with Sabaji Bhosle and Nizam Ali, both of 
whom — in spite of Raghunathrao's generous weakness — 
agreed to support the regency. Raghunathrao acted as became 
an experienced soldier. He had detached Trimbakrao Pethe 
to watch Sabaji Bhosle, while he himself invaded Mysore. 
Afterwards he learnt that Trimbakrao Pethe was one of the 
leading conspirators and he determined to overwhelm him 
before he could form a junction with the Moghul, Poona 
or Berar troops. Trimbakrao, elated by his signal victory 
over Haidar Ali, accepted battle on the 4th March 1774 at 
Kasegaon near Pandharpur. In twenty minutes he was com- 
pletely defeated. His army was destroyed, and he himself was 
taken prisoner and so outrageously insulted by Anandibai, 
that he soon died of wounds and vexation. 2 Raghunathrao's 
cause prospered on account of his victory and he now marched 
on Poona. Had he entered it, he would have recovered his 
former supremacy ; for the ministers in their despair were 
reduced to the expedient of releasing Ramraja and setting 
him up as a rival to their enemy. But on the road he learnt 
of so many ramifications of the plot against him that his 
heart failed him, and, turning from Poona, he marched to 
Burhanpur. The retreat nullified his previous success, and 
on the 18th April 1774 his hopes were shattered by the birth 
of Gangabai's son, known in history as Savai Madhav- 
rao. Forty days later Sakharam Bapu and Nana Phadnavis 
obtained from Ramraja the child's investiture as Peshwa. 

Raghunathrao's affairs were now going from bad to worse. 
He had hoped that Holkar and Sindia would send him troops 
to Burhanpur, and crossed the Narbada. Thereupon Mudhoji 
Bhosle, who was unwilling to follow him farther north, left 
him with all his contingent save seven thousand men. 
Holkar and Sindia welcomed Raghunathrao, as they wished 
his support in an advance into Guzarat. But in his rear 

1 Khare's Life of Nana Phadnavis. 

2 Anandibai sent a maidservant to wave round Trimbakrao's head 
lamps made of cow-dung, a coarse way of insulting him. 

lio a history of the maratha people 

followed a large army under Hari Ballal Phadke, who, 
although still quite young, had already shown proofs of great 
capacity. Raghunathrao did not wish to take arms against 
the son of Narayanrao, as that course would have been 
unpopular. His plan was to seize Gangabai and Savai Madhav- 
rao and return to Poona as regent on the latter's behalf. To 
achieve this end, he entered into correspondence with Moroba 
Phadnavis, now bitterly jealous of his cousin Nana, and with 
Bajaba Purandare, and Babaji Naik, the grandson of the creditor 
of Bajirao Balaji. It was agreed that these three should seize 
Parvatibai, Gangabai, Savai Madhavrao, Sakharam Bapu and 
Nana Phadnavis, who had, early in June, taken shelter from 
the heavy rainfall of Purandar in Saswad. The plot leaked out, 
and on the night of the 30th June Gangabai and the young 
prince were carried back through pouring rain to Purandar 
fort. A second attempt was made in November, by Moroba 
Phadnavis, to seize the fort by corrupting the Musulman 
soldiers of the garrison. They in turn tried to corrupt the 
Maratha soldiers, but in vain. The matter was reported by 
them to the commandant, who cut off the heads of the disloyal 
Musulmans. No evidence was obtainable against Moroba 
Phadnavis and he remained unpunished. In the meantime 
the cash payments made by Haidar Ali to Raghunathrao had 
been exhausted, and the pretender had no other source of 
revenue but the plunder of villages in the domains of Holkar 
and Sindia, a course which soon rendered his presence 
distasteful to his hosts ; and they readily listened to proposals 
from Nana Phadnavis to make Raghunathrao their prisoner. 
At the same time the conduct of Raghunathrao's allies 
alienated many of his warmest adherents. Basalat Jang, the 
younger brother of Nizam Ali, laid waste the country round 
Miraj, while Haidar Ali overran once more the Maratha 
districts south of the Tungabhadra river. In December 
Raghunathrao learnt of the intended treachery of Madhavrao 
Sindia and Tukoji Holkar. He left his wife Anandibai in 
Dhar, where she gave birth to a son, named Bajirao, the last 
independent prince of Poona ; and he himself with the remains 
of his army retreated towards Baroda, where he sought the 
alliance of Govindrao Gaikvad. Damaji Gaikvad had during 
his lifetime, put Govindrao in command of the contingent 


sent in 1758 to Raghunathrao's help. Damaji died in 1770, 
leaving four sons, Sayaji, Govindrao, Manikji and Fatehsing. 
The two eldest sons claimed their father's inheritance, each 
with a show of right. Sayaji was the older in years, but the 
son of the second wife. Govindrao was younger than Sayaji, 
but the son of the Patrani or chief wife. He was moreover 
a man of some intelligence, while Sayaji was an imbecile. 
Manikji and Fatehsing were younger than the other two, and 
were the sons of the third wife ; but Fatehsing tried to make 
up for the weakness of his own title by vigorously supporting 
Sayaji, in whose name he hoped to govern. Govindrao had 
been taken prisoner with Raghunathrao after the battle of 
Dhodap ; but, after paying as fines and fees a sum of fifty 
lakhs, he was declared to be Damaji Gaikvad's lawful heir. 
In 1771, Madhavrao reconsidered this decision and at Fateh- 
sing's instance appointed Sayaji to be the heir. This order 
was once more reversed by Raghunathrao after the murder 
of Narayanrao ; and, when Raghunathrao entered Guzarat, the 
two brothers were at open war and Govindrao was besieging 
Baroda. Govindrao cordially welcomed his new ally, espe- 
cially as, by a treaty signed on the 7th March 1775, 
Raghunathrao had secured the active aid of the Bombay 



As early as April 1774, Raghunathrao, as he retreated from 
Poona, entered into negotiations with the Bombay Govern- 
ment. The latter, whose heads had been turned by Clive's 
victories in Bengal, readily agreed to support the pretender, 
believing, it would seem, that by their unaided efforts they 
could overthrow the Maratha power. They offered to assist 
Raghunathrao with two thousand men, provided that he 
advanced fifteen to twenty thousand rupees in cash, and that, on 
his restoration as Peshwa, he ceded Bassein and Salsette and 
the neighbouring islands. Raghunathrao had some spark of 
patriotic feeling left and refused to cede the scene of 
Chimnaji Appa's toil and glory. Instead he offered to sur- 
render districts in Guzarat worth eleven lakhs a year, and to 
pay six lakhs at once and a lakh and a half monthly in 
return for a contingent of 2,500 men and fifteen guns. While 
the negotiations were still proceeding, the English learnt that 
a great Portuguese fleet and army had reached Goa for the 
purpose of recovering Bassein and Salsette. The prospect of 
being again cut off by the Portuguese from the rich trade of 
the interior proved too much for the consciences of the 
English factors. On the 12th December 1774, without any 
declaration of war, they invaded the Maratha territory. On 
the 28th December, they stormed Thana, and by the 1st 
January 1775, they had reduced the whole island of Salsette. 
On the 6th March 1775, Raghunathrao accepted what had 
happened, and entered into an offensive and defensive alliance, 
agreeing to a number of cessions, including Salsette and 
Bassein, in return for a contingent of three thousand men, 
including seven hundred European soldiers. The chief reason 
for Raghunathrao's acquiescence in the action of the Bombay 
Government was his own defeat by Hari Ballal Phadke. The 
latter had effected a junction with Holkar and Sindia, who 
were now as anxious to destroy Raghunathrao's army as they 


formerly had been to help him, and had followed closely the 
pretender's retreat into Guzarat. Govindrao, threatened by a 
superior army, raised the siege of Baroda and fell back 
beyond the river Mahi. Fatehsing Gaikvad, however, knew 
the country well, and under his guidance Hari Phadke crossed 
the river in three divisions and, attacking Raghunathrao and 
his ally Govindrao in centre, flank and rear, utterly defeated 
them. Raghunathrao himself, with a thousand horse, fled from 
the field and took shelter with Charles Malet, the head of the 
English factory in Cambay. Sakharam Hari Gupte took 
command of the beaten army and, with Govindrao Gaikvad, led 
it to Kapadwanj on the frontiers of Kathiawar. 

From Cambay Raghunathrao made his way to Bhavnagar, 
on the sea-coast of Kathiawar, and thence sailed to Surat, 
where he met the transports that conveyed the English relief 
column under the command of Colonel Keating. On the 11th 
April 1775, Colonel Keating effected a junction with Sakha- 
ram Gupte and Govindrao Gaikvad eleven miles north-east of 
Cambay. Their army amounted now to seven or eight 
thousand men and these were mutinous for want of pay. 
Colonel Keating stayed their clamours as best he could from 
his own treasure-chest, and then without any apparent plans 
wandered up and down South Guzarat, twice engaging Hari 
Phadke's force on the way without serious loss to either side. 
On the 5th May, Colonel Keating, who had halted at Matar in 
the Kaira district, received from the Bombay Government, 
who firmly believed in the invincibility of their tiny army, 
positive orders to march southwards on Poona. Raghunathrao, 
who knew the hopelessness of such a course, demurred, but 
finally consented. By the 17th May, the allied army had 
reached Napa in the Anand taluka of the Kaira district. On 
the 18th, they debouched on the plains of Adas, the spot where 
in 1725 Pilaji Gaikvad' s treachery had enabled Hamid Khan to 
defeat Rustom AH. When they were one and a half miles from 
Napa, Hari Phadke, supported by six guns, suddenly attacked 
their rear. The attack was for a long time successful. 
Eventually the English line rallied and the Marathas withdrew, 
leaving their enemies in possession of the battle-field. The 
loss of the English contingent was 222 and that of the allied 
army probably exceeded that of Hari Phadke's force. Both 


sides claimed the victory. 1 From Adas Colonel Keating 
continued his southward march, reaching Broach on the 
29th May. On the 8th June, he tried in vain to cross the 
Narbada river, which was in flood. Hearing that Hari 
Phadke's force was at some distance, he resolved to surprise 
it ; but the news of his intention reached Hari Phadke and he 
retreated along the north bank of the Narbada. It was now 
clear, even to Colonel Keating, that to march on Poona 
during the full fury of the monsoon was to court ruin. He 
and Raghunathrao agreed to retreat to Dabhai, the scene of 
Bajirao's victory over Trimbakrao Dabhade, with the intention 
of laying siege in the winter to Baroda. Fatehsing on his 
brother Sayaji's behalf now became anxious to negotiate and 
an agreement was entered into, by which Sayaji was left 
in possession of Baroda on condition of joining Raghunathrao. 
The latter bound himself to bestow on Govindrao a fief of 
ten lakhs. 

On the whole Raghunathrao' s cause had prospered by land 
and to this partial advantage was added a considerable victory 
of his allies at sea. Commodore John Moore, in command of 
a frigate 2 called the " Revenge " and a grab or sailing barge 
called the "Bombay" met at sea a fleet of sixMaratha warships 
all in the interest of Nana Phadnavis. The English com- 
modore at once attacked the hostile squadron, which tried to sail 
away. He succeeded in bringing to action the " Shamsher 
Jang ", a ship of forty-six guns. After a fight of three hours 
she blew up with all on board. 

Suddenly the hopes of Raghunathrao, who had made sure 
of ultimate success, were dashed to the ground. 

On the 19th October 1774, three Englishmen, whose 
names have been immortalized in* Macaulay's essay on 
Warren Hastings, arrived in Calcutta. They were Colonel 
Clavering, Colonel Monson and Philip Francis. A fourth, 
Richard Barwell joined them a few days later. The four 
together with Warren Hastings formed the new Supreme 
Council to which the English Parliament had entrusted the 
control of the English dominions in India. These gentlemen 

1 This battle is known as the battle of Adas or Aras. 

2 Low's History of the Indian Navy, vol. I, p. 156. 


were soon at variance on almost every conceivable subject, but 
on one they were united. They were resolved at the earliest 
opportunity to assert their superiority over the Governments 
of Madras and Bombay. The recent conduct of the Bombay 
Government, who, without the leave of the Supreme Council, 
had engaged in a foreign war, stormed fortresses and fought 
battles, offered the Supreme Council the opportunity they 
desired. They declared the treaty with Raghunathrao invalid, 
and the war on his behalf " impolitic, dangerous, unauthorized 
and unjust." They directed the immediate cessation of 
hostilities and in spite of the protests of the Bombay Govern- 
ment adhered to their view. The Bombay Government had 
no alternative but to repeat these orders to Colonel Keating, 
who on receiving them fell back towards Surat, encamping 
at Karod, some twenty miles east of that city. Having thus 
reduced to obedience the Bombay Government, the Supreme 
Council sent to negotiate with the ministers of the infant 
Peshwa their own envoy, Colonel Upton, who reached 
Purandar on the 28th December, 1775. The ministers received 
him courteously, but complained of the conduct of the 
Bombay administration. They offered to pay the East India 
Company twelve lakhs of rupees to cover the cost of 
their recent campaigns in Salsette and Guzarat. In return 
they demanded the surrender of Raghunathrao, and the evacua- 
tion of Salsette and other districts occupied by the Bombay 
troops. On the other hand, Colonel Upton demanded the 
cession of Bassein, Salsette and of the revenues of Broach 
town and district. To this the ministers replied with some 
justice that they could not understand how the Bengal Govern- 
ment could seek to derive advantages from a war which they 
admitted was unjust. This view did not commend itself to 
Colonel Upton or the Supreme Council ; and the Calcutta 
Government began to make preparations for a vigorous 
renewal of the war. Sooner than face the united onslaught 
of the English and Raghunathrao, the ministers, threatened 
as they were by treason at home, agreed to the cession of 
Salsette and the revenues of Broach city and of some of the 
lands in its neighbourhood. On the 1st March 1770, Colonel 
Upton on behalf of the East India Company, and Sakharam 
Bapu, Nana Phadnavis and Sakharam Hari Gupte on behalf of 


the ministry, signed the treaty of Purandar. In addition to the 
aforesaid concessions, the ministry paid twelve lakhs of rupees 
to the Bombay Government. The treaty of Surat between 
Raghunathrao and the English was formally repudiated. 
Raghunathrao was to disband his army and was to reside at 
Kopargaon, a town on the Godavari river. There he was to 
receive twenty-five thousand rupees a month for his personal 
expenses and he was to be allowed a household of a thousand 
troopers and two hundred private servants. The last clause 
of the treaty was never carried out ; for the Bombay Govern- 
ment refused to surrender Raghunathrao, and continued to 
give him an asylum at Surat in spite of the protests of the 
ministers and the orders of the Supreme Council. In other 
respects the treaty was observed. 



In England, during the wars between the Houses of York 
and Lancaster, the weakness of the central government 
tempted adventurous spirits to assume the part of claimants 
to the throne. In the Deccan the Perkin Warbecks and 
Lambert Simnels cropped up by scores. All the prominent 
leaders who had fallen at Panipat reappeared in various parts 
of the kingdom. Jankoji Sindia and the brother of Hari 
Ballal Phadke were both popular roles ; but the most popular 
role of all was that of Sadashivrao, the son of Chimnaji Appa. 
Several impostors assumed his name and they obtained 
credence the more readily that his widow Parvatibai maintain- 
ed to her death that the body found on the field of Panipat 
was not her husband's and that he had escaped and was living 
somewhere in hiding. She continued to call herself " Saubha- 
gyavati ", a title only used by ladies whose husbands are still 
living. The pretenders were one after the other proved to be 
impudent impostors, and executed ; yet their failures never 
deterred others from imitating them. The most successful was 
undoubtedly a Kanoja Brahman, a man of the same caste as 
Kalasha, the evil genius of Sambhaji. His name was Sukhni- 
dhan, or the " Treasure of happiness ", and he had proclaimed 
himself to be Sadashivrao during the reign of Madhavrao 
Ballal. That energetic prince promptly confined him in Miraj. 
He remained in prison until 1775, when Gopalrao Patwardhan 
begged the ministry to relieve him of his unpleasant charge, 
as he seemed likely to corrupt the guards and make himself 
master of the fortress. Sukhnidhan was then taken to 
Ratnagiri and handed over to the care of Ramchandra Naik 
Paranjpe, the subhedar. 

There must have been something uncommon in the pretender 
Sukhnidhan, for he now won adherents from among the chief 
officers of the state. The first to acknowledge him was the 
very subhedar Paranjpe to whose care he had been entrusted 


and he was soon in possession of the entire district of Ratna- 
giri. Soon his followers included Vyankatrao Ghorpade, the 
chief of Inchalkaranji, Raghunathrao Kolatkar, the real 
Sadashivrao's brother-in-law, and Naro Shankar, the maternal 
uncle of the Peshwa's mother, Gangabai. Encouraged by his 
early successes, the pretender acted with the greatest energy. 
He seized the fleet and with its aid carried all the great forts 
along the coast, including Vijayadurg, Anjanvel and Suvarna- 
durg. He was soon master of the entire Konkan and at the 
head of twenty thousand men he carried the Bhor pass and the 
fort of Rajmachi. The ministry, distracted by other troubles, 
kept hoping that the imposture would be discovered and the 
pretender discredited. They were now forced to action by the 
prospect of his immediate march on Poona. Unable any longer 
to temporize, they appealed to Sindia for help and sent Bhivrao 
Panse to delay the pretender's advance as long as he could. 
Bhivrao Panse engaged him in minor actions and harassed his 
march so successfully, that Madhavrao Sindia was able to 
join Panse with a large army. The allied forces now attacked 
the pretender and completely defeated him. The unhappy 
Sukhnidhan fled to Bombay but did not land. From Bombay 
he went to Kolaba, where he was arrested by Raghuji Angre. 
The latter handed him over to the ministry on condition that 
he should not be punished without a full enquiry. The 
ministry accordingly appointed a commission of twenty-seven 
persons presided over by Ramshastri. Other members were 
Gopinath Dikshit, Dhondaba Purandare, Hari Ballal Phadke 
and Babaji Naik Baramatikar, all men personally acquainted 
with the gallant Sadashivrao. After a most careful enquiry 
the commission pronounced the prisoner to be an impostor. 
He was driven in a bullock cart through Poona. He was then 
taken through it on the back of a camel ; at last, on the 18th 
December 1776, he was executed by having iron pegs ham- 
mered into his skull. The ministry next dealt severely with 
the pretender's followers. Vyankatrao was fined heavily but 
escaped with his life. The ministers attached his entire 
property and only returned it on payment of sixty thousand 
rupees by way of nazar and a fine of twenty-five thousand 
rupees. Kolatkar was pardoned on the insistent prayers of 
Parvatibai, his sister. Ramchandra Naik Paranjpe was 


stripped of all his wealth and he and his family were imprisoned 
in different hill fortresses. Lesser offenders of the Brahman 
caste were punished, not for their rebellion, but for dining 
with one not of their own community. In hundreds of villages 
throughout the Konkan they were forced in the presence of 
officers of the government to undergo strict and unpleasant 
penances. Those Brahmans who had assisted the pretender 
in his religious or ceremonial observances were excommuni- 
cated and were not re-admitted to caste until many months 
afterwards. Raghuji Angre received as his reward a taluka 
worth annually a lakh of rupees. 

Having disposed of Raghunathrao, his English allies and 
the pretender Sukhnidhan, the harassed ministers turned to 
face other enemies. The chief of these was Haidar Ali, but 
Mudhoji Bhosle and the Raja of Kolhapur had also taken 
advantage of the dissensions at Poona, and Nizam Ali was 
merely waiting on events. In 1776, Haidar Ali reduced the 
strong fort of Gooti, the fief of Murarirao Ghorpade. On the 
fall of his fortress, Murarirao Ghorpade became the prisoner 
of Haidar Ali and soon ended his days in the fort of Kabal- 
durg. After his success at Gooti, Haidar Ali openly espoused 
Raghunathrao's cause, and, crossing the Tungabhadra, ravaged 
the Maratha possessions between that river and the Krishna. 
To meet this southern invader the ministers sought the 
alliance of the treacherous Nizam Ali. The allies agreed to 
invade Mysore with a considerable army, while a force was 
sent under Konherrao Patwardhan to relieve Savanur, then 
beleaguered by Haidar Ali. But Mahomed Ali, in command 
of Haidar Ali's advance troops, met the relieving force at 
Sansi. He adopted a plan of battle that the Marathas had 
themselves often practised with success. He made a re- 
connaissance in force, followed by a pretended flight. This 
simple ruse led the Marathas to pursue him until they fell into 
an ambush and were shot down with great slaughter by con- 
cealed cannon. A vigorous charge by Mahomed Ali completed 
the rout, and Pandurangrao Patwardhan, the second in com- 
mand fell into the hands of Mahomed Ali. In the cold 
weather of 1776 and 1777 a Maratha army thirty thousand 
strong under Parashrambhau Patwardhan assembled at Miraj. 
An even larger force, estimated at forty thousand men and 


commanded by Ibrahim Beg Dhonsa, was sent by Nizam Ali. 
The plan of the allied governments was that they should 
converge on Mysore and effect a junction within the frontiers 
of that kingdom. But Parashrambhau Patwardhan, who was 
made over-cautious by the memory of Konherrao's defeat and 
by the condition of his army, whose pay was several months 
in arrears, retired behind the Krishna without engaging the 
enemy. Ibrahim Beg, deserted by his allies, was glad to 
accept a present from Haidar :Ali's agent, and also retired 
behind his master's frontier. The ministers determined to 
make a fresh effort during the cold weather of 1777, and sent 
an army of sixty thousand men under the joint command of 
Hari Ballal Phadke and Parashrambhau Patwardhan. They 
had reached the Tungabhadra when they were rendered 
powerless by the same weapon that had secured the retreat of 
Ibrahim Khan. With Haidar Ali was Bajirao Barve, a 
Konkanasth Brahman, a connexion of Raghunathrao's first wife. 
Barve succeeded in corrupting Manaji Sindia, surnamed 
Phakde, with a bribe of six lakhs of rupees. Manaji agreed to 
desert with ten thousand men during the first general action. 
As soon as they had crossed the Tungabhadra, Haidar Ali 
attacked the Marathas. Manaji Phakde's treachery was dis- 
covered too soon to be effective, and his force, with the 
exception of the traitor himself and thirty horsemen, were 
surrounded and cut to pieces, before it could desert. Hari 
Phadke no longer felt strong enough to engage Haidar Ali ; 
for, the more he enquired, the wider proved to be the ramifi- 
cations of Manaji Sindia's treason. Even his own personal 
servants had been bribed to seize their master during the 
confusion of the battle. He arrested several of his leading 
officers and blew from a gun one of the most deeply impli- 
cated, Yashwantrao Mane of Mhaswad. He then withdrew, 
harassed all the way, across the Krishna. Haidar Ali reduced 
Kopal and invested Dharwar ; but in May 1778, artfully 
deceived by rumours spread by Hari Phadke as to the arrival 
of another great army from Poona, he paid Hari Phadke a 
sum of money to obtain an armistice. 

The submission of Kolhapur and Mudhoji Bhosle was 
obtained with less difficulty. Ever since the death of Sam- 
bhaji, the policy of the Kolhapur state had been to annoy its 


suzerain by plundering expeditions on land and piracy at sea, 
and by an alliance with Nizam Ali when at war with Poona. 
The author of this policy was the imperious Jijibai, Sambhaji's 
widow. In 1762, two years after her husband's death she 
adopted Shivaji Bhosle, the son of Shahaji Bhosle, Patil of 
Khanwat village in the Indapur taluka, and carried on the 
government in his name. She was alike jealous of Tarabai 
and hostile to Balaji Bajirao, and she showed her displeasure 
in the manner described. Madhavrao had punished her by 
taking from the Kolhapur state several districts and giving 
them to the Patwardhan family. On the murder of Narayan- 
rao, Jijibai openly espoused the cause of Raghunathrao, 
and not only recovered the forfeited lands, but stripped 
the Patwardhans of others also. The ministers asked for 
help from Tukoji Holkar, which he refused. At last with the 
greatest difficulty and by offers of large grants of land in 
Central India, Madhavrao Sindia was induced to march against 
Kolhapur. Before his arrival, however, Ramchandra Ganesh 
Kanade, at the head of a body of Poona troops, had won at 
Hingangaon a signal victory over the Kolhapur army, com- 
manded by Yesaji Sindia. On Madhavrao Sindia's arrival, 
the Peshwa's troops overran the raja's territory and then 
besieged Kolhapur. At last the pride of Jijibai was broken. 
She agreed to restore her conquests, to break her alliance 
with Haidar Ali and Raghunathrao, and to pay twenty lakhs 
by way of indemnity to the Peshwa (January 1778). 

Mudhoji Bhosle was easily dealt with. Janoji Bhosle had 
been present at Theur when Madhavrao died ; and, shortly 
before the great Peshwa's death, he obtained leave to adopt 
Raghuji, his brother Mudhoji's eldest son. After performing 
this important act, he went on a pilgrimage to Tuljapur, 
where he died in May 1773. * On his death, Mudhoji, as the 
natural father of Raghuji, and Sabaji as the full brother of 
Janoji, claimed, both with some show of right, the guardian- 
ship of the newly adopted boy. Mudhoji Bhosle after the 
murder of Narayanrao took the side of Raghunathrao. 

1 Grant Duff, vol, II, p. 9. Mr. Sar Desai gives the date of Janoji 
Bhosle's death as 29th April, 1771 ; but that date does not seem to tit 
in with the rest of the story. 


Sabaji took the side of the ministers and on their victory they 
appointed him regent of the Nagpur state. On the 26th 
February, 1775, Mudhoji and Sabaji Bhosle fought a pitched 
battle. Mudhoji's troops were already in full flight, when 
their leader was so fortunate as to shoot his brother Sabaji 
dead. Instantly victory changed sides and the ministry 
hastened to recognize Mudhoji Bhosle as regent. On Raghu- 
nathrao's flight into Guzarat Mudhoji professed himself an 
adherent of the ministry ; but, when the English allied them- 
selves to Raghunathrao, Mudhoji again favoured his cause. 
The ministry called upon Nizam Ali to punish this unstable 
feudatory. Nizam Ali readily agreed and sent Ibrahim Beg 
Dhansa, the commander bribed by Haidar Ali, to invade 
Berar. This he did and reduced it with little or no opposition. 
At first Mudhoji was required to surrender his principal 
fortresses, but afterwards, on Mudhoji's abject submission and 
payment of a fine of ten lakhs to the Poona Government, his 
many treacheries were forgiven him. 

The question of the Gaikvad's succession was settled by 
the nomination of Fatehsing on payment of ten and a half 
lakhs of arrears of tribute and a present of six lakhs. Of the 
six lakhs one lakh went to Sakharam Bapu and to Nana 
Phadnavis. The remaining five lakhs went into the state 
treasuries (February 1778). 

While the ministers were thus struggling successfully to 
restore order throughout the Maratha state, several deaths 
occurred too important to be omitted. In July 1777, Ganga- 
bai, widow of the ill-starred Narayanrao, died of a malignant 
fever. 1 Her last act was to plead successfully for the release 

1 Grant Duff asserts (vol. 2, p. 70) that she died of a miscarriage 
wilfully brought about to conceal the effects of her intimacy with Nana 
Phadnavis. This assertion has been hotly traversed by modern Indian 
writers. Grant Duff does not quote any authority for it and I have not 
been able to find any. On the other hand Mr. Khare, (Adhikar Yog, 
p. 70) quotes a contemporary letter to the following effect :— 

" The Peshwa's mother Gangabai contracted navajwar (nine days 
fever). On the eighth day of the attack, namely, Ashad Sud 7, a little 
before noon she died. It is a terrible calamity. The Peshwa is very 
young. His mother was his protector. It is a most terrible thing to 
have happened." 


of Ramchandra Naik from prison. A hardly less important 
death was that of the unhappy Ramraja on the 12th December 
1778. So long as Tarabai lived, his life, at one time so full 
of fair promise, had been rendered miserable ; but the 
generous-hearted Madhavrao had softened the rigours of his 
captivity and allowed him to move freely all over Satara 
fortress. He also permitted him to manage his private 
estates in the Poona district. Indeed he would probably have 
given him wider powers, had he not found Ramraja's mind 
no longer fit to do more than play at administration. At 
Madhavrao's death, Ramraja seems to have shown a moment- 
ary energy. The commandant of Raygad had betrayed his 
charge to the Sidi of Janjira. Ramraja, stirred by the insult 
to his heroic ancestor, cancelled the appointment of the 
commandant and pressed on the new Peshwa Narayanrao its 
recovery. This was soon effected and the garrison of the 
Sidi put to the sword. Ramraja had two daughters, who 
were respectively married to Madhavji Naik Nimbalkar 
and Durgaji Mahadik Taralekar. 1 In 1777, Ramraja fell ill 
and he was pressed to adopt a son as he had no male issue. 
His choice fell on Trimbakji Bhosle, Patil of Vavi, a village in 
Nasik district, which formed part of the Bhosles' private 
domain. Trimbakji Bhosle was descended from Vithoji, the 
brother of Maloji Bhosle and uncle of Shahaji, the great king's 
father. On the boy's adoption, his name was changed to that 
of Shahu Maharaj. He is known in Maratha history as 
Dakhte Shahu or Shahu the Younger. 

la this connexion too, the following extract from Grant Duff's letter 
to General Briggs, dated 28th February 1854, is interesting:— 

" I could not now lay ray hand on the notes of evidence as to the 
matter you mention. . . . That the ministers had several women 
carried up, to make sure of a successor somehow, was also generally 
believed, and that Nana Phadnavis was much too intimate with 
Narayanrao's widow ; but nevertheless no one of any consequence 
expressed any suspicion as to the legitimacy of the child born at 
Poorundhar (sic)." 

Grant Duff's authority seems to have been the gossip of Poona, not 
always a trustworthy source. 

1 Chitnis Bakhar, p. 32. 



In Chapter lvii, I have related how Moroba Phadnavis 
tried unsuccessfully to seize in Raghunathrao's interest the 
persons of Parvatibai, Gangabai, the young Peshwa, Sakharam 
Bapu and Nana Phadnavis. Moroba remained unpunished and, 
jealous of his cousin Nana Phadnavis, continued to plot for 
Raghunathrao's return. He was closely in touch with all 
Raghunathrao's avowed well-wishers, Bajaba Purandare, 
Sakharam Hari Gupte and Chinto Vithal Rairikar. Tukoji 
Holkar was won over to Raghunathrao's cause because of his 
jealousy of Madhavrao Sindia, and Sakharam Bapu because of 
his dislike for Nana Phadnavis. In 1778, the conspirators 
approached the Bombay Government and invited them to 
march on Poona and restore Raghunathrao. The Bombay 
Government, smarting under the treaty of Purandar, and 
indignant at the deference paid by Nana Phadnavis to 
St. Lubin, a French adventurer who posed as an envoy of the 
French king, were ready and willing to comply. The English, 
however, asked for a written invitation from Sakharam Bapu, 
which he was too wary to send. While the negotiations were 
proceeding, Nana Phadnavis, who was fully aware of them, 
tried to seize Moroba Phadnavis, who escaped arrest and took 
refuge in the camp of Tukoji Holkar. It was now Moroba's 
turn. Secure in the midst of Holkar's soldiery, he conspired 
with Sakharam Bapu to arrest Nana Phadnavis ; but the latter 
artfully eluded his enemies and fled to Purandar. 1 Thence he 

1 One tale of the attempted arrest of Nana Phadnavis is as follows : 
Sakharam Bapu and Moroba Phadnavis had concentrated troops round 
Poona, intending to arrest Nana Phadnavis directly the evening gun was 
fired. Sakharam Bapu was to keep Nana Phadnavis engaged in 
conversation until a few minutes before. Nana knew of the plot and 
warned the officer on duty not to fire the evening gun until he heard 
the report of five guns fired from Purandar. The result was that, after 


sent urgent letters to Madhavrao Sindia in front of Kolhapur, 
and to Hari Ballal Phadke in the Carnatic, to bring their 
armies to his assistance. Some delay ensued, for directly 
Sindia struck his camp the Raja of Kolhapur showed signs of 
disavowing his recent treaty, and Hari Ballal Phadke could not 
leave the Carnatic until he had tricked Haidar Ali into asking 
for an armistice. In the meantime Nana Phadnavis success- 
fully cajoled Moroba. He proposed that Moroba should be 
minister-in-chief and that the other ministers should be 
Sakharam Bapu, Bajaba Purandare and Nana Phadnavis. 
The latter's powers were to be greatly curtailed and he was 
to remain at Purandar in charge of the young Peshwa. 
Moroba accepted the proposal and assumed supreme power. 
But since his liking for Raghunathrao only grew out of 
his envy of Nana Phadnavis, he no sooner became chief 
minister than, as his astute cousin had foreseen, he lost all 
enthusiasm for the return of Raghunathrao. He broke off 
negotiations with the English and proceeded to rule the state 
himself and enjoy to the full all the fruits of office. His 
pleasant dream was soon disturbed. When Hari Ballal Phadke 
was free to leave the Carnatic, he joined Madhavrao Sindia at 
Miraj. Then, leaving Miraj by separate routes, they joined 
each other again at Purandar on the 6th June, 1778. Nana 
Phadnavis with their help was once again master of the 
situation ; and on the 22nd June, Hari Ballal Phadke and 
Parashram Chate Patwardhan surrounded Moroba' s house and 
arrested him. He was ordered to resign all his offices, to 
disband his troops and to retire into private life ; but he did 
not observe the terms imposed on him. As he was again 
found engaged in treasonable correspondence with the English, 
he was on the 22nd July, arrested and imprisoned in Ahmad- 
nagar fort. There he remained for twenty-two years. Two 
of the other ministers were treated with similar severity. 
Bajaba Purandare was imprisoned in Wandan fort, close to 

Sakharam Bapu had left, so as to allow the troops to seize Nana 
Phadnavis, the latter rode as fast as he could out of the city. The 
officer on duty did not fire the evening gun until Nana Phadnavis had 
reached Purandar and had fired five guns from there. The soldiers 
then rushed in, but their prey had escaped. (Khare's Life of Nana 
Phadnavis, chapter vii.) 


Satara. Sakharam Hari Gupte, one of the heroes of Rakhshasa- 
bhavan, was thrown heavily chained into Rudramal and 
afterwards removed to Ghangad, where he died fourteen 
months later staunch in his fidelity to his unworthy master. x 

Raghunathrao and his English allies in Bombay heard with 
dismay of the return of Nana Phadnavis to power ; but they 
did not abandon their intention to march on Poona. Raghu- 
nathrao was anxious to recover the Peshwa's office, and the 
Bombay Government feared Nana Phadnavis' designs on the 
island of Salsette. In August, the Bombay Government 
received a direct order from the Supreme Council that they 
were not to engage in war with the Marathas unless as a 
defensive measure. As the Governor-General was negotiat- 
ing with Mudhoji Bhosle, the Bombay Government resolved 
to ignore the order, but, while determined to march eastwards 
directly the weather permitted, they made little or no prepara- 
tions for the invasion that they contemplated. They obtained 
from Raghunathrao a renewal of the offers made by him at 
Surat, 2 and on the 22nd November, 1778, sent six companies 
of sepoys and some light artillery to seize the Bhor Ghat. 
This operation was successfully effected by the officer in 
command, Captain James Stewart. 

It is a matter of great regret that so little is known of this 
remarkable man. Yet such had been his gallantry on various 
occasions of field service, that his own men had nicknamed 
him Ishtur Phakde or the Heroic Stewart. This honourable 
title had been accepted by the Peshwa's army and the Peshwa's 
government ; and to-day no Englishman's name is so well 
known to the ordinary Brahman of the Deccan or the Konkan 

1 I cannot resist quoting the fine passage from Grant Duff, vol. 2, 
p. 77, which describes the end of this brave man : 

" He (Sakharam Hari) was chained in irons so heavy that although 
a very powerful man, he could scarcely lift them ; his food and water 
were insufficient to allay his hunger or quench his thirst ; but he 
survived fourteen months ; and, when so emaciated that he could not 
rise. ' My strength is gone and my life is going ' cried the dying enthu- 
siast ; ' but when voice and breath fail my fleshless bones shall still 
shout ' Raghunathrao ! Raghunathrao ! ' " 

2 The new treaty was dated 24th November, 1778. See Forest 
Selections (Maratha Series) i. 334-8. 


as Ishtur Phakde. Indeed his presence with the attacking 
force was regarded by them as a presage of victory and by 
the Maratha forces as an omen of defeat. It was his duty to 
hold Khandala at the head of the pass until the arrival of the 
main army, and this he performed with great skill, successfully 
defeating Maratha detachments sent to dislodge him. On the 
23rd December, 1778, the English army arrived, three thousand, 
nine hundred strong, accompanied by Raghnnathrao, his 
adopted son Amratrao, and Chinto Vithal Rairikar, who had 
fled to Bombay and had been appointed Raghunathrao's 
diwan. With Raghunathrao were two thousand cavalry, and 
an equal body of disciplined infantry. The English com- 
mander, Colonel Egerton, who had as yet met no serious 
resistance, was confident of a rapid and successful end to the 
campaign. He was quite unaware of the vast preparations, 
that had been made for his reception. Nana Phadnavis had 
for months past known the intentions of the English, and so 
admirable was his system of espionage that the most secret 
debates of the Bombay Council were accurately reported to 
him. While the Bombay Government organized their tiny 
army, Nana Phadnavis had from every quarter received large 
contingents. Tukoji Holkar was present at Poona with 6,000 
men ; Sindia with 1,500 men ; Bhivrao Panse with 3,000, and 
other feudatories with between 5,000 and 6,000. These con- 
tingents together with the Peshwa's army enabled him to send 
forty thousand men against the invaders. At the same time 
he removed Sakharam Bapu from office and placed him under 
a guard of Sindia's troops. He ordered Balaji Govind 
Bandela, 1 commandant of Sagar in Central India, to resist all 
attempts of the Supreme Council to send reinforcements over- 
land from Bengal. This order was so well obeyed that 
Colonel Leslie, who was leading an army from Bengal, was 
never able to pass through Central India, and, after several 
months of useless fighting there, died of fever on the 23rd 
October, 1778. 

Colonel Egerton advanced so slowly that he spent eleven 
days in marching the eight miles that separate Khandala 
from Karli, the little village known to residents of Bombay 

1 A son of Govind Bandela killed in the Panipat campaign. 


and Poona because of its wonderful Buddhist caves. On the 
4th January, 1779, the English army lost its most daring 
spirit. According to the Peshwa's Bakhar, Captain Stewart 
climbed a tree to reconnoitre the enemy's position. His 
commanding figure was recognized and the entire Maratha 
front resounded with the cry of " Shabash, Ishtur Phakde." 
At the same time the Maratha batteries concentrated on the 
tree which sheltered Stewart, and a moment later the tree and 
its burden were swept away in a storm of cannon shot. The 
same chronicle relates a curious tale how the death of the 
gallant Stewart was announced to the Poona ministers. 
While Nana Phadnavis and other ministers were seated 
anxiously in the little Peshwa's room, awaiting news from 
the front, the boy prince started from his seat and asked 
them why they looked so careworn. " The English will not 
give way ", was the reply. The little boy sent for his toy 
sword, fastened it on, and said, " The Englishman is dead." 
There was only one Englishman who mattered and a few 
hours later a messenger brought the news that Ishtur Phakde 
was no more. By some strange telepathy the death of the 
English hero had reached the Brahman prince faster than the 
steed of the galloping messenger. Captain Stewart's com- 
mand devolved on Captain Hartley, a brave and skilful officer 
but without the inspiring qualities of the dead soldier ; and 
the latter's death greatly depressed the invaders and cheered 
the defending army. On the 9th January, the English reached 
Talegaon Dabhade, the beautiful spot which the gallant 
Khanderao Dabhade loved above all his other possessions. 
They found it in flames and they learnt that Nana Phadnavis 
had ordered the destruction of Chinchvad and other townships 
on the road to Poona and, should the English reach so far, 
the destruction of Poona itself. For this purpose, indeed, he 
had filled the rooms of the Shanwar Wada with masses of 
straw and hay. The English had counted on finding supplies 
at Talegaon, more especially since they learnt that a Maratha 
force had swept the Konkan as far as Panwel, cutting their 
communications with Bombay. Their commanders should 
have advanced by forced marches on Poona to prevent its 
destruction ; for they had with them several days' supply of 
food and the capital was only eighteen miles away. No 


steps taken by Nana could in so short a time have stripped 
Poona bare. The English would have found supplies there 
and Raghunathrao numerous adherents. But from undue 
elation the invaders fell into uncalled-for despair. They 
contrasted their present situation with the easier conditions 
of Guzarat, and they fretfully complained to Raghunathrao 
and Chinto Vithal that they had falsely promised the adhesion 
of Tukoji Holkar and other allies. Holkar had sent word 
that he had no intention of deserting to a force so small that 
its defeat was certain ; and this message increased the gloom 
of the English high command. In spite of the protests of 
Raghunathrao and the advice of Captain Hartley, the English 
resolved to retire; At 11 p.m. on the night of the 11th 
January, the army that was to have forced Raghunathrao on 
an unwilling people began its retreat. The heavy guns 
were thrown into the tank at Talegaon, whence they were 
afterwards recovered by the Marathas. 1 All around the 
English army had been stationed patrols, who at once reported 
the retreat of the invaders. The Marathas attacked them 
from all sides with greater vigour and fuller confidence. 
On the 12th and 13th, the English army struggled back 
the way it had come ; but on the 13th, it was hemmed in at 
the village of Wadgaon, some five miles from Talegaon. 
The English sent a Mr. Farmer to negotiate. The Maratha 
Government demanded as a preliminary to negotiations the 
surrender of Raghunathrao ; but the latter, grasping the 
hopeless situation of the English, had already deserted to 
Sindia's camp together with Chinto Vithal Rairikar and 
Kharaksing, one of Narayanrao's murderers, and three hundred 
cavalry, some fifteen hundred disciplined infantry and thirteen 
pieces of artillery. Sindia received Raghunathrao with 
courtesy, but arrested Chinto Vithal and Kharaksing. The 
Maratha Government next demanded the cession of Salsette 
and the acquisitions of the East India Company in Surat and 
Broach. The English commanders at first demurred on the 

1 A letter from Shivajipaut quoted by Mr. Khare (Adhikar Yog, 
p. 125) runs as follows : 

The English have been beaten. They have lost from 400 to 500 men 
killed. Seven cannon have been taken and two thousand muskets, etc., 
are included in the booty. 


ground that they had no authority to make such cessions ; 
but afterwards they sent Mr. Holmes, a junior member of' 
the Civil Service, with full power to agree to their enemies' 
demands. He ceded all that the East India Company had 
acquired in the Konkan since 1773, bestowed privately the 
English share in Broach on Madhavrao Sindia, and promised 
Rs. 41,000 to various members of his staff. At the same 
time he undertook to countermand the advance of reinforce- 
ments from Bengal. The English army was then allowed 
to return unmolested to Bombay ; but Mr. Farmer and 
Lieutenant Charles Stewart, a nephew of the gallant Ishtur 
Phakde, remained behind as hostages. 

On the arrival of the troops at Bombay, the Bombay 
Government repudiated the convention of Wadgaon as made 
wholly without authority, and dismissed the officers who were 
parties to it. The Bengal Supreme Council directed General 
Goddard, the successor of Colonel Leslie, to march with all 
speed to the western coast. This duty General Goddard per- 
formed with consummate skill, disregarding the countermand 
received from Bombay. On the 26th February, 1780, he 
reached Surat, evading twenty thousand Maratha horse sent 
to intercept him. From Surat he took ship to Bombay. 

The Maratha army remained encamped at Talegaon for a 
month, and the Maratha Government were extremely annoyed 
at the repudiation by the Bombay Government of the conven- 
tion of Wadgaon, a repudiation which robbed them of the 
fruits of their victory. Nevertheless they treated Messrs. 
Farmer and Stewart, with kindness and courtesy, probably out 
of affectionate admiration for Ishtur Phakde, and devoted 
themselves to the uprooting of sedition at home. Sakharam 
Bapu had been allowed to go to Wai to celebrate the marriage 
of his daughter with the Pant Sachiv ; in his absence Sindia 
extorted from Chinto Vithal two similarly worded letters 
written by Sakharam Bapu to Chinto Vithal and Raghunath- 
rao. 1 They clearly proved his treachery and on his return 

1 The letters ran as follows : " This is my request. I have made the 
suggestion to the South (i.e. to Haidar Ali). I am now sitting down and 
waiting on events. In these circumstances the sooner you act the 
better." (Adhikar Yog, p. 128.) 


from Wai he was arrested and imprisoned in Sinhgad. 
Kharaksing was executed, and Chinto Vithal ended his days 
in a hill fortress. The real culprit, however, escaped. 

After some sharp discussion between Sindia and Nana 
Phadnavis, the Maratha Government agreed to let the former 
keep Raghunathrao in his custody at Jhansi, and to allot to 
Madhavrao Sindia lands worth four to five lakhs a year, so 
that the pretender might be suitably lodged and attended. 
Raghunathrao was allowed to march towards Jhansi with the 
cavalry and infantry that had gone over with him to Sindia' s 
camp. To watch his movements Sindia detailed one of his 
staff, Hari Babaji with two thousand men. On the road 
Raghunathrao learnt that Sindia had no intention of spending 
the revenues allotted to him to enhance Raghunathrao 's 
dignity and comfort. He meant on arrival at Jhansi to shut 
up the fugitive in Jhansi fort and to brigade his troops with 
his own army. To this fate Raghunathrao was determined 
not to submit. In the confusion of crossing the Narbada, 
he attacked Hari Babaji' s two thousand men, cut them to 
pieces, and escaped to Broach, where he was received with 
honour by his English friends. 

The victory over the English was deemed a fitting occasion 
for the Peshwa's Munj or thread-girding ceremony. 1 The 
Peshwa was now in his sixth year and on the 12th May the 
ceremonial festivities began. Hitherto Madhavrao through 
fear of Raghunathrao's various plots had always been kept in 
Purandar or Sasvad. He was now taken to Poona and he 
was admitted to the dignity of the twice-born. All the 
feudatories including Sindia and Holkar were present and the 
whole countryside was white with the tents of the visitors and 
of their military escorts. The ceremonies were splendid, but 
were not unduly prolonged, as Nana Phadnavis guessed that 
in no long time the Marathas and English would be again 
at war. 

1 See vol. II, p. 135. 



Warren Hastings, the Governor-General of Bengal, was 
determined to wipe out the disgrace of Wadgaon. He 
directed Goddard to take supreme command of all troops 
in Bombay and if possible to restore the credit of the 
English arms. On [the other hand, Nana Phadnavis entered 
into an alliance with Haidar Ali and Nizam Ali. After some 
fruitless negotiations General Goddard resolved to conduct 
the war in Guzarat rather than in Maharashtra. In Guzarat 
he hoped to receive help from Fatehsing Gaikvad ; Surat, 
too, formed a convenient base, while the Maratha armies 
would necessarily be hampered by long and arduous land 
communications. In January, 1780, Goddard's army moved 
from Surat. On the 20th January, 1780, he took by storm 
Dabhai and occupied other towns garrisoned in the Peshwa's 
interest. On the 26th January, he signed an offensive and 
defensive alliance with Fatehsing. Agreeably to the treaty, 
he laid siege to Ahmadabad, which he took by storm on 
the 15th February, 1780. The Maratha Government had 
called on Sindia and Holkar to drive out the invaders, and, 
crossing the Narbada on the 29th February, they halted near 
Baroda with twenty thousand cavalry. On the 6th March, 
Goddard crossed the Mahi river and offered them battle ; but 
the Marathas retreated after chivalrously releasing Messrs. 
Farmer and Stewart. Some time passed in idle negotiations ; 
at last Goddard, on the night of the 2nd April, surprised 
Sindia's camp, without, however, inflicting on him any 
serious loss. 

Madhavrao Sindia's strategy in refusing a general action 
was essentially sound. He wished to draw Goddard farther 
and farther from his base, while the Poona Government acted 
against Surat and Bombay. In March, 1780, Ganeshpant 
Behare, the Peshwa's commander in the northern Konkan, 
invaded Guzarat, intending to cut Goddard's communications 


with Surat. Goddard was forced to send a detachment under 
Lieutenant Welsh, who surprised, defeated and wounded 
Ganeshpant Behare, * and thereupon reduced the three forts 
of Parner, Bagwada and Indragad. About the same time 
one of Sindia's detachments was surprised on the banks 
of the Narbada. Nevertheless Sindia's strategy was justified 
elsewhere ; for in the Konkan the Marathas won an import- 
ant success. An English detachment, which under Ensign 
Fyfe had pushed rather rashly as far as the Ghats, was cut off 
and its guns taken ; and a Maratha assault on an English 
post at Kalyan on the 24th May, 1780, was only just frustrated 
by the arrival of a relief force under Colonel Hartley. 

In the meantime the skill of Nana Phadnavis' diplomacy 
was soon to become manifest to the English of Madras. The 
Government of that city had succeeded in estranging at the 
same time Haidar Ali and the Nizam. In spite of their 
offensive and defensive alliance with the former, the Madras 
Government had refused to send him any help against the 
Marathas, and had without his permission recently marched an 

1 Grant Duff writes that Ganeshpant Behare was mortally wounded. 
This is not correct. Four years later Ganeshpant Behare was fighting 
against Tipu Sultan. It is interesting to contrast the English and 
Maratha accounts of this action. 

The following is Mr. Welsh's account : 

Dear Sir, 

I have the pleasure to acquaint you that I rode on at the head of the 
regiment and Candahars and reached Gane Pant's camp at four 
o'clock this morning, when I took his camp standing, bazar and three 
guns, killed ninety and wounded fifteen. I have only lost one daffedar 
and two troopers wounded, one Candahar killed. In short there was 
nothing wanting to complete this matter, but sending you in Gunnesh 
Punt's head. I don't think he has much to brag of now. The inhabi- 
tants of the village seem exceedingly happy and are coming in from all 


I am, Dear Sir, 

Your very obedient humble servant, 
Thomas Welsh. 
The following is an extract from a letter written by Nana Phadnavis : 
The English surprised Ganeshpant Behare. A slight action followed. 
The said officer received two or three wounds. He made a careful 
retreat to Hatgad. 

{Parasnis Collection) . 


armed force through his territories. They had enraged 
Nizam AH by occupying his district, Guntur, and by binding 
themselves to support against him his brother Basalat Jang. 
Both princes, therefore, listened readily to Nana Phadnavis' 
overtures. To Haidar Ali Nana Phadnavis offered to cede 
all the lands actually occupied by his troops between the 
Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers. To Nizam Ali he offered 
important tracts of land between Daulatabad and Ahmadnagar. 
Nana Phadnavis' offers were accepted, and both Haidar Ali 
and Nizam Ali allied themselves with the Marathas against 
the English. Nizam Ali's help was of little value, for on the 
restitution of Guntur he refused to move a man ; but Haidar 
Ali's attack on the English was of the most formidable kind. 
In July, 1780, eighty-three thousand disciplined troops, led in 
many cases by gallant French adventurers, assembled sudden- 
ly at Bangalore. Without a word of warning this mighty 
force poured through the southern passes into the English 
possessions. The first news of the invasion was conveyed to 
the Madras Government by the sight of flaming villages nine 
miles from Madras. Isolating that capital, Haidar Ali sought 
out the English armed forces. On the 10th September he fell 
upon a body of 3,700 men under Colonel Baillie, and destroyed 
or captured the entire detachment. 

Fortunately for English dominion in India, Warren Hastings 
was Governor-General in Calcutta. He heard of the disasters 
with unruffled calm and met the confederacy with its own 
weapons. He formed an alliance with the Rana of Gohad in 
Central India, who was a subject ally of the Peshwa. The 
Rana of Gohad declared himself independent and received 
Captain Popham with three thousand men, horse and guns. 
The combined forces crossed the Jamna and, routing the 
Maratha covering troops, took successively the forts of Lahar 
and Gwalior (4th August, 1780), thus seriously disquieting 
Madhavrao Sindia, to whom Gwalior belonged. To meet the 
dangers that threatened Madras, Warren Hastings despatched 
Sir Eyre Coote, who, although sixty years of age, proved 
able to check the impetuous advance of Haidar Ali. 

The monsoon, which falls with intense violence in the 
Konkan, checked operations until October, when Colonel 
Goddard, leaving a considerable garrison in Surat, Broach 


and Ahmadabad, began to march southwards from Surat to 
invest Bassein. On the 1st October, Colonel Hartley, who had 
been sent from Bombay to prepare for the arrival of the main 
army, took by storm Bawa Malang, known familiarly as the 
Cathedral Rock, ten miles south of Kalyan. It had been 
unsuccessfully attacked on the 4th of August, but now fell 
into the hands of the English. On the 13th November, 
General Goddard arrived before Bassein and carefully re- 
connoitred it. On the 28th November, the siege began. 
The Maratha Government strained every nerve to relieve 
Bassein, but the invasion of Central India partially paralysed 
Sindia, whose guns failed to arrive in time. On the other 
hand, contingents under Parashrambhau Patwardhan and 
Anandrao Raste * were at once placed at the disposal of 
Ramchandra Ganesh. He successfully harassed Colonel 
Hartley's covering force and compelled it to move from its 
advanced post and to fall back on Goddard's besieging army. 
On the 10th December, Ramchandra Ganesh made a most 
resolute attempt to destroy Hartley's corps. Throughout the 
10th and 11th his attacks continued without abating. At last, 
at 9 a.m. on the 12th December, 1780, Ramchandra Ganesh, 
taking advantage of a thick fog, tried to surprise an eminence 
on Hartley's right flank. Had he carried it, he would probably 
have been able to drive Hartley from his camp. The scheme 
failed through no fault of the Maratha captain. As the 
Maratha vanguard neared the English outposts, the fog 
suddenly cleared away, destroying all hopes of a surprise. 
The outposts fired rapidly and were so fortunate as to kill 
Ramchandra Ganesh and to wound his second in command, a 
Portuguese mercenary officer named Noronha. The Maratha 
troops, dispirited at the loss of their leaders, broke off the 

1 The original family name of the Rastes was Gokhale, and the 
founder of the family was Gangadharpant Gokhale, a money-lender of 
Velneshwar in the Ratnagiri District. He and his descendants earned 
the name of " Rasade " through furnishing " Rasad " or supplies to the 
Bijapur troops. The family had a great reputation for honest dealing, 
and Shamji Rasade was invited by king Shahu to settle at Satara as an 
army contractor. There, the king, highly pleased with him, changed his 
name from " Rasade" to Raste or the honest man Shamji Raste's grand- 
daughter was Gopikabai, the wife of the third Peshwa, Balaji Bajirao. 


action and retired. In the meantime Bassein had surrendered. 
The siege had not been a long one. Early on the 9th December, 
the English had opened fire from their batteries and had 
continued it without intermission during the 9th and 10th 
December. At 10 a.m. on the 11th a message came from the 
garrison offering its surrender, but the city held out until the 
following day, when the garrison, four thousand in number, 
marched out, laid down their arms and were allowed to 
depart unmolested. The inhabitants were allowed to retain 
their private property, but all public property was appropriated 
by the English. The rapidity with which they took the famous 
stronghold was due to two causes, namely, the excellence 
of their artillery, which not only destroyed the Maratha 
defences, but blew up their powder magazines, and the skilful 
dispositions of their engineer, Captain Theobald. * The 
English losses were only twelve killed and wounded. 

The fall of Bassein and the repulse and death of the gallant 
Ramchandra Ganesh were deeply felt by Nana Phadnavis. 
Bassein was highly prized by the Maratha Government in 
memory of the great siege and of the gallant exploits of the 
noble Chimnaji Appa. Kalyan and the surrounding country 
were the scenes of the earliest deeds of an even more splendid 
hero, the great king himself. Nevertheless the minister's 
lofty mind learnt the disasters without dismay ; and he and 
Hari Ballal Phadke employed every means to raise funds and 
to increase their armies. Warren Hastings begged Mudhoji 
Bhosle to forward to the Poona Government terms of peace, 
but to Mudhoji's letter Nana Phadnavis returned no answer. 
On the 18th January, 1781, General Goddard took the fort 
of Arnala, a small island off Bassein, together with the garri- 
son of five hundred men. General Goddard then sent direct 
to Nana Phadnavis Warren Hastings' offer of peace, which the 
minister firmly declined. At the same time he took steps for 
the destruction of the English army. He sent the Peshwa to 
Purandar and Parashrambhau Patwardhan into the Konkan to 
cut the English lines of communication. At the head of 

1 A full account of the capture of Bassein is given in General Goddard 's 
despatch of 12th December, 1780, printed in Forest's Selections (Maratha 
series), vol. 1, pp. 430-2, 


a great army and accompanied by Hari Ballal Phadke and Tukoji 
Holkar, he marched up the Indryani valley to meet Goddard. 
The calm energy of the minister soon obtained the desired 
result. On the 16th March, Parashrambhau at Chauk, a 
village immediately below Matheran, fell suddenly on a 
detachment under Mackay, that was returning from Panwel, 
and inflicted on it heavy loss. Mackay succeeded in reaching 
the main army, but the gravity of the danger determined 
Goddard to fall back from the Sahyadris to Panwel. Before 
he could effect this manoeuvre, a second detachment under 
Colonel Browne was fiercely attacked by Parashrambhau. 1 On 
the 1st April, three battalions of sepoys, ten guns and 
a large body of horse left the main army for Panwel to bring 
back a big convoy of grain and stores. On the journey they 
were repeatedly attacked, and lost one hundred and six men 
killed and wounded, several thousand bullocks, several hundred 
muskets, and quantities of stores. They were indeed only 
saved from annihilation by the garrison of Bombay, who 
hastened to their relief and succeeded in bringing them in 
safe. On the 19th April, General Goddard, finding his position 
no- longer tenable, decided to retreat. From that moment his 
misfortunes began. On the 20th April, Hari Ballal Phadke, 
swooping down from the heights of the Sahyadris, carried off 
a quantity of his baggage and ammunition. The English 
camped at Chauk and on the 21st April fought their way to 

1 Nana Phadnavis thus describes this action : 

"On the night of the third Rabilakar, four battalions with guns 
and other warlike material started well-armed for Panwel to bring 
supplies. Parashrambhau, who had received information, attacked the 
same night and immediately an action followed. The Pindharis were 
close by. About a hundred or a hundred and fifty of the enemy were 
killed and about two hundred wounded. From three hundred to four 
hundred muskets, ten to twelve camel cartloads of ammunition, tents 
of various kinds, and four thousand to five thousand bullocks, were 
carried off. At daybreak they (the English) halted near Barwai in a 
difficult position. On the following night, when they commenced to 
march, they were again attacked by Parashrambhau and from fifty 
to a hundred were killed. A thousand bullocks were captured. We 
fired rockets which exploded their ammunition and burnt several of 
their men. That very night they retreated to Panwel." 

(Parasnis Co/lection), 



Khalapur. On the 22nd, the dispirited army rested and on the 
23rd renewed the march. Harassed all day, they contrived 
that evening to reach Panwel after losing four hundred and 
fifty-six in killed and wounded, of whom eighteen were 
English officers. The Maratha Government had thus cleared 
the Konkan of the English, and by a series of successes had 
restored the moral of their own army. Nana Phadnavis had 
every ground to hope that in the following cold weather a 
combined attack on the English, both in Bombay and Bengal, 
would compel them to accept peace on his terms. Unhappily 
for the Maratha cause, before the monsoon of 1781 had passed, 
both Madhavrao Sindia and Mudhoji Bhosle, on whose active 
aid the minister counted, had made separate treaties with the 

The reason for Madhavrao Sindia's defection was due to 
the defeats suffered by him in Central India. Captain Popham 
after taking Gwalior cleared the Gohad territories of the 
Marathas. At the same time another force under Colonel 
Carnac took Sipri and on the 16th February, 1781, appeared 
before Seronj. Here Colonel Carnac was heavily attacked 
and surrounded by Sindia. He managed to extricate himself, 
and on the 24th March surprised and defeated Sindia's 
army by a skilfully prepared night attack. Thereafter during 
the rainy season he occupied Sindia's lands and so wasted 
them that on the 13th October, 1781, Sindia bound himself 
not only to remain neutral, but also to negotiate, if possible, 
a peace between the English and the Poona Government. 
About the same time Mudhoji Bhosle was detached from the 
Maratha confederacy by the promise of a considerable sum in 
cash and of assistance in acquiring the districts of Karra and 
Mandela, which had been in the possession of the Peshwa's 
officers since the campaign of Balaji Bajirao in 1742. After 
these diplomatic achievements, the English deputed first 
Captain Weatherstone and afterwards Mr. David Anderson to 
negotiate a peace with the Poona Government. Sindia press- 
ed also on Nana Phadnavis the advantage of accepting the 
English offers. The news, too, from his ally in the south 
was not such as to encourage the minister. During the 
monsoon of 1781, Haidar AH had been repeatedly beaten by 
Sir Eyre Coote — at Porto Novo in July, at Pollilore in August, 




fKSHWi OF THE Ma.: « ' ■ 



[To face page 139.1 


and at Sholingur in September. At last on the 17th May, 
1782, was concluded the treaty of Salbai. By its terms the 
English undertook no longer to support Raghunathrao, who 
was to reside in Sindia's dominions and to receive a mainten- 
ance of twenty-five thousand rupees a month. The Peshwa 
was to form no alliance with the French or any other Europ- 
ean nation, hostile to the English. He was also to compel 
Haidar Ali to restore his conquests from the English and the 
Nawab of Arcot. The English were to retain Salsette, but to 
restore all other conquests since the treaty of Purandar. 
Ahmadabad and other possessions of the Gaikvad were to be 
restored to Fatehsing, who was to pay the usual tribute to 
Poona. Lastly, Broach was bestowed on Madhavrao Sindia as 
a reward for his conduct at Wadgaon and for his treatment of 
Farmer and Stewart. 1 The treaty of Salbai extinguished the 
last hopes of Raghunathrao. That unfortunate pretender 
accepted, because he could do nothing else, the terms of the 
treaty. He chose, as the spot wherein to end his days, 
Kopargaon on the banks of the beautiful Godavari river. 
Thither he went accompanied by his wife, Anandibai, to whose 
furious ambition he owed his many misfortunes. With them 
went also their adopted son Amratrao and their real son 
Bajirao, for whom fate was preparing adventures hardly less 
romantic than those of his father. By the sacred stream 
Raghunathrao affected to become a sanyasi. But the son of 
the great Bajirao could not control his thoughts. They 
strayed from battle-fields by the Indus to leaguers in the 

1 The treaty of Salbai was concluded on the 17th May, 1782, was 
ratified on the 6th June, 1782, and was formally exchanged on the 24th 
February, 1783. 

The following letter from Tukoji Holkar to Nana Phadnavis mentions 
the death of Raghunathrao: "After compliments— Please continue 
to communicate your news and be so good as to receive mine. I 
received your letter and was deeply grieved to hear the news of 
Shrimant Dada Sahib's (i.e. Raghunathrao's) death on Thursday the 
3rd of the dark half of Margshirsh at about six ' ghattis ' after sunset. 
He was ill for some time. But he had recovered his strength. None 
can go against destiny. The will of God prevails. We were glad to 
hear that you have sent Visaji Appaji to condole with Anandibai and 
her son Shrimant Bajirao. What more shall I say? Be kind." 

(Parasnis Collection) . 


Carnatic ; and his enforced idleness sapped his strength. On 
the 24th February, 1784, eleven months after the formal 
exchange of the treaty of Salbai, Raghunathrao died. In 
the course of the year 1784, his widow gave birth to a 
posthumous son, Chimnaji Appa. Nana Phadnavis treated the 
family with kindness, but the beautiful widow never forgave 
one whom she regarded as the cause of her husband's failures ; 
and she brought up her son Bajirao to look upon Nana 
Phadnavis with a hatred so malignant, that to avenge his 
father he was ready to ruin his country. 

English historians, notably Mr. Vincent Smith, have written 
of the treaty of Salbai with well-founded pride ; for on three 
fronts against superior forces the genius of Warren Hastings 
and the valour of his soldiers yielded nothing to the enemy. 
Nevertheless the real honours of the war lay, not with the 
English, but with the great man who controlled the Maratha 
Empire. The war was waged to decide whether Raghunath- 
rao or Savai Madhavrao should sit in the seat of the Peshwas. 

The treaty of Salbai not only settled the succession in 
favour of Savai Madhavrao, but yielded Raghunathrao into 
the hands of his rival. Thus in spite of dissensions at home, 
faithless friends and treacherous allies, Nana Phadnavis reach- 
ed his goal. His serene but enduring spirit accepted victory 
without insolence and defeat without despair ; from the 
barren plains of the Deccan and the wild hills of the Konkan 
his tireless energy raised ever new armies and fresh resources, 
until at last he wore out the patience of the English, led them 
to surrender their conquests and won the strategic victory, 
which alone he sought, namely, the throne of Poona for the 
boy-prince entrusted to his devoted care. 



The following is an extract from a letter from Nana 
Phadnavis to Madhavrao Sindia. It shews with what feelings 
he regarded the English. 

" We were never ambitious to conquer the Company's lands. We 
never did them any harm. It was they who declared war against us 
and caused us heavy losses for six whole years. They have attempted 
to weaken the framework of our empire by trying to win over the 
Gaikvad and Bhosle, two pillars of our state. If we let them act as 
they wish, we shall only bring calamity on ourselves and subvert our 
empire. We shall neither give nor ask for favours, but make a treaty 
of peace with the greatest caution and care. We must not only insist 
on the reparation of our wrongs, but we must try to recover that part of 
the Carnatic conquests of the great Shivaji which is now occupied by 
the English. We shall certainly achieve our aims at Delhi without 
sacrificing our interests to the English. They can never establish their 
supremacy at Delhi, if the Marathas act vigorously and in union." 





Treaty of perpetual friendship and alliance between the Hon'ble the 
English East India Company and the Peshwa Madhavrav Pandit 
Pradhan, settled by Mr. David Anderson, on the part of the Hon'ble 
Company, in virtue of the powers delegated to him for that purpose by 
the Hon'ble the Governor-General and Council, appointed by the King 
and Parliament of Great Britain to direct and control all political affairs 
of the Hon'ble English East India Company in India ; and by Maharaja 
Soubahdar Madhavrav Sindia, as plenipotentiary on the part of the 
Peshwa Madhavrav Pandit Pradhan, Ballaji Pandit.. Nana Fadanavis, 
and the whole of the Chiefs of the Maratha nation, agreeably to the 
following articles, which shall be ever binding on their heirs and 
successors, and the conditions of them to be invariably observed by 
both parties. 

Article I 

It is stipulated and agreed to between the Hon'ble the English East 
India Company and the Peshwa, through the mediation of Madhavrav 
Sindia, that all countries, places, cities, and forts, including Bassein, 
etc., which have been taken from the Peshwa during the War that has 
arisen since the treaty settled by Colonel Upton, and have come into the 
possession of the English, shall be delivered up to the Peshwa ; the 
territories, ports, cities, etc., to be restored, shall be delivered 
within the space of two months from the period when this treaty shall 
become complete (as hereinafter described), to such persons as the 
Peshwa, or his Minister Nana Fadanavis shall appoint. 

Article II 
It is agreed between the English Company and the Peshwa, that 
Salsette and three other islands, viz., Elephanta, Karanja and Hog, 
which are included in the treaty of Colonel Upton, shall continue for 
ever in possession of the English. If any other islands have been taken 
in the course of the present war, they shall be delivered up to the 


Article III 

Whereas it was stipulated in the fourth article of the treaty of Colonel 
Upton, " that the Peshwa and all the Chiefs of the Maratha State to 
agree to give the English Company, for ever, all right and title to the 
city of Broach, as full and complete as ever they collected from the 
Mogals or otherwise, without retaining any claim of chauth, or any other 
claims whatsoever, so that the English Company shall possess it without 
participation or claim of any kind " ; this article is accordingly 
continued in full force and effect. 


Article IV 

The Peshwa having formerly, in the treaty of Colonel Upton, agreed 
by way of friendship to give up to the English a country of three lakhs 
of rupees, near Broach, the English do now, at the request of 
Madhavrav Sindia, consent to relinquish their claim to the said country 
in favour of the Peshwa. 

Article V 

The country which Sayaji and Fattesing Gaikawar gave to the 
English, and which is mentioned in the seventh article of the treaty of 
Colonel Upton, being therein left in a state of suspense, the English, 
with a view to obviate all future disputes, now agree that it shall be 
restored ; and it is hereby settled that, if the said country be a part of 
the established territory of the Gaikawar, it shall be restored to the 
Gaikawar ; and if it shall be a part of the Peshwa's territories it shall be 
restored to the Peshwa. 

Article VI 

The English engage that, having allowed Raghunathrav a period of 
four months from the time when this treaty shall become complete to 
fix on a place of residence, they will not, after the expiration of the said 
period, afford him any support, protection, or assistance, nor supply 
him with money for his expenses : and the Peshwa on his part engages, 
that if Raghunathrav will voluntarily and of his own accord repair to 
Maharaja Madhavrav Sindia, and quietly reside with him, the sum of 
Rs. 25,000 per month shall be paid him for his maintenance, and no 
injury whatever shall be offered to him by the Peshwa, or any of his 

Article VII 

The Hon'ble English East India Company and the Peshwa being 
desirous that their respective allies shall be included in this peace, it is 
hereby mutually stipulated that each party shall make peace with the 
allies of the other, in the manner hereinafter specified. 

Article VIII 

The territory which has long been the established jaghir of Sayaji 
Gaikawar and Fattesing Gaikawar, that is to say, whatever territory 
Fattesing Gaikawar possessed at the commencement of the present war, 
shall hereafter for ever remain on the usual footing in his possession ; 
and the said Fattesing shall, from the date of this treaty being complete, 
pay for the future to the Peshwa the tribute as usual previous to the 
present war, and shall perform such services and be subject to such 
obedience, as have long been established and customary. No claim 
shall be made on the said Fattesing by the Peshwa for the period that 
is past. 

Article IX 

The Peshwa engages, that whereas the Navab Hyder Alii Khan, 
having concluded a treaty with him, hath disturbed and taken posses- 
sion of territories belonging to the English and their allies, he shall be 


made to relinquish them ; and they shall be restored to the Company 
and the Navab Mahomed Alii Khan. All prisoners that have been 
taken on either side during the war shall be released, and Hyder Alii 
Khan shall be made to relinquish all such territories belonging to the 
English Company and their allies, as he may have taken possession of, 
since the ninth of Ramzan in the year 1181, being the date of his treaty 
with the Peshwa ; and the said territories shall be delivered over to the 
English and the Nawab Mahomed Alii Khan within six months after 
this treaty being complete ; and the English, in such case, agree that, so 
long as Hyder Alii Khan shall afterwards abstain from hostilities 
against them, and their allies, and so long as he shall continue in 
friendship with the Peshwa, they will in no respect act hostilely towards 

Article X 
The Peshwa engages, on his own behalf as well as on behalf of his 
allies, the Navab Nizam Alii Khan, Raghoji Bhonsla, Syna Saheb 
Soubah, and the Navab Hyder Alii Khan, that they shall, in every 
respect, maintain peace towards the English and their allies, the 
Navab Asoph-ul-Dowlah Bahadur, and the Navab Mahomed Alii 
Khan Bahadur, and shall in no respect whatever give them any distur- 
bance. The English engage on their own behalf, as well as on behalf 
of their allies, the Nawab Asoph-ul-Dowlah, and the Navab Mahomed 
Alii Khan, that they shall in every respect maintain peace towards the 
Peshwa and his allies, the Nawab Nizam Alii Khan and Raghoji 
Bhonsla, Syna Saheb : and the English further engage on their own 
behalf, as well as on behalf of their allies, that they will maintain peace 
also towards the Navab Hyder Alii Khan under the conditions specified 
in the 9th Article of this treaty. 

Article XI 
The Hon'ble East India Company and the Peshwa mutually agree 
that the vessels of each shall afford no disturbance to the navigation of 
the vessels of the other ; and the vessels of each shall be allowed access 
to the ports of the other, where they shall meet with no molestation, 
and the fullest protection shall be reciprocally afforded. 

Article XII 
The Peshwa and the Chiefs of the Maratha State hereby agree that 
the English shall enjoy the privilege of trade, as formerly, in the 
Maratha territories, and shall meet with no kind of interruption ; and, 
in the same manner, the Hon'ble East India Company agree that the 
subjects of the Peshwa shall be allowed the privilege of trade, without 
interruption, in the territories of the English. 

Article XIII 
The Peshwa hereby engages that he will not suffer any factories of 
other European nations to be established in his territories, or those of 
the chiefs dependant on him, excepting only such as are already 


established by the Portuguese ; and he will hold uo intercourse of 
friendship with any other European nations : and the English on their 
part agree that they will not afford assistance to any nation of Deccan 
or Hindustan at enmity with the Peshwa. 

Article XIV 

The English and the Peshwa mutually agree that neither will afford 
any kind of assistance to the enemies of the other. 

Article XV 

The Hon'ble the Governor-General and Council of Fort William 
engage that they will not permit any of the chiefs, dependants or 
subjects of the English, the gentlemen of Bombay, Surat or Madras, to 
act contrary at any place to the terms of this treaty. In the same 
manner, the Peshwa Madhavrav Pandit Pradhan engages that none of 
the chiefs or subjects of the Maratha State shall act contrary to them. 

Article XVI 

The Hon'ble East India Company, and the Peshwa Madhavrav Pandit 
Pradhan having the fullest confidence in Maharaja Soubahdar Madhav- 
rav Sindia Bahadur, they have both requested the said Maharaja to be 
the mutual guarantee for the perpetual and invariable adherence to 
both parties to the conditions of this treaty ; and the said Madhavrav 
Sindia, from a regard to the welfare of both States, hath accordingly 
taken upon himself the mutual guarantee. If either of the parties shall 
deviate from the conditions of this treaty, the said Maharaja will join 
the other party and will, to the utmost of his power, endeavour to bring 
the aggressor to a proper understanding. 

Article XVII 

It is hereby agreed that whatever territories, forts, or cities, in Gujrat 
were granted by Raghunathrav to the English, previous to the treaty of 
Colonel Upton, and have come into their possession, the restitution of 
which was stipulated in the 7th Article to the said treaty, shall be 
restored, agreeably to the terms of the said article. 

This treaty consisting of 17 articles is settled at Salbai, in the Camp 
of Maharaja Soubhadar Madhavrav Sindia, on the 4th of the month of 
Jammadul Saany, in the year 1197 of the Hygera, corresponding with 
the 17th of March, 1782, of the Christian era, by the said Maharaja and 
Mr. David Anderson : a copy hereof shall be sent by each of the above 
named persons to their respective principals at Fort William and Poona 
and, when both copies being returned, the one under the seal of the 
Hon'ble East India Company and signature of the Hon'ble the 
Governor-General and Council of Fort William shall be delivered to 
Maharaja Madhavrav Sindia Bahadur, and the other under the seal of 
the Peshwa Madhavrav Pandit Pradhan, and the signature of Ballaji 
Pandit, Nana Fadanavis, shall be delivered to Mr. David Anderson, 



this treaty shall be deemed complete and ratified and the articles herein 
contained shall become binding on both the contracting parties. 

(Written in the Marathi character of Ragubhau Divan). " In all 
17 articles on the fourth of Jemmad-ul-Akher or fifth of Jesht Adhik, 
in the Shuklapaksh, in the year 118... (torn)." 

(Subscribed in the Marathi character of Mahadji Sindia). " Agreed 
to what is above written in Persian." 
Witnesses : — 

(Sd.) W. BLAINE. 




Before the treaty of Salbai had been finally exchanged 
between the contracting parties, the great Haidar Ali had 
died of cancer in the back on the 7th December, 1782. His 
son and successor Tipu had inherited some of his splendid 
talents and all his savage qualities. He derived his unusual 
name from the shrine of Tipu Mastan Auliah, whither his 
mother Fakrunnissa had, to obtain a blessing, gone shortly 
before her delivery. He was now in the full vigour of his 
faculties, and one of his first acts was, in March, 1784, to outwit 
the English of Madras and to obtain from them the treaty of 
Mangalore. Thereby the English agreed to restore to Tipu 
all the places they had recently conquered, thus nullifying the 
clause in the treaty of Salbai which bound the Marathas to 
help to recover the provinces seized by Haidar Ali from the 
Nawab of Arcot. Another cause of war, however, between 
the Marathas and Tipu, was soon forthcoming. 

Among the Maratha chiefs who held lands between the 
Krishna and the Tungabhadra rivers was a Chitpavan Brahman 
named Bhave, who was Desai of Nargund. As the price of 
his alliance, Haidar Ali had asked for and obtained from the 
Marathas the cession of all the territories between the two 
rivers. He thus included Nargund in his dominions. The 
Desai had submitted and Haidar Ali had fixed his dues at the 
same figure as those paid by him to the Peshwa. Tipu, who 
wished to confiscate the Chitpavan' s holding, raised his tribute 
to a larger sum than he could pay. Bhave appealed to Nana 
Phadnavis, who represented with justice to Tipu that the 
transfer of the Peshwa's rights between the two rivers left all 
other rights unaffected. The Desai, therefore, was not bound 
to pay more to Tipu than he had paid to Poona. Tipu replied 
discourteously that from his own subjects he could levy what 
he chose. And in March, 1785, he sent a force to reduce 
Nargund. Nana Phadnavis sent to the relief of Nargund a 


body of troops under Ganeshpant Behare and Parashrambhau 
Patwardhan. But Burhan-ud-din, the officer in command of 
the besieging army, raised the siege and advanced to meet the 
Marathas. After some desultory fighting in which the Mysore 
troops had the advantage, Burhan-ud-din, on the 5th May, 1785, 
carried the fort of Ramdurg, a position of great importance 
for the continuance of the siege of Nargund. Nana Phadnavis 
ordered Tukoji Holkar to march at once to reinforce Parash- 
rambhau. Tipu had resort to artifice and expressed himself 
anxious for peace. Nana was for once deceived. On the 
promise of two years' tribute he made peace with Tipu, who 
bound himself to accept from the Desai of Nargund the same 
tribute as Haidar Ali had done. But as soon as the Maratha 
armies had re-crossed the Krishna, Tipu renewed his pre- 
posterous demands on the Desai, and his siege operations. The 
unfortunate Desai resisted as best he could, but he was soon 
reduced to despair. Before he surrendered he asked for 
Tipu's personal guarantee that no harm would come to him ; 
which was readily granted. When Bhave descended from the 
fort, the unprincipled adventurer denied his oath and seized 
him and his family. One daughter he selected for his harem. 
The rest he sent to the fort of Kabaldurg, where they died in 
prison. Shortly afterwards Tipu by similar treachery made 
himself master of Kittur, a town 26 miles south-east of 
Belgaum ; and to crown his iniquities he failed to pay the 
promised tribute and circumcized large numbers of the Hindu 
population between the Krishna and the Tungabhadra. Nana 
Phadnavis was alike angry at the faithlessness of Tipu and 
shocked at his treatment of the Hindus, two thousand of 
whom committed suicide to escape conversion to Islam. At 
the same time he was aware of the excellent discipline of 
Tipu's battalions, often commanded by French officers, and he 
hesitated to attack him until reinforced by English and 
Moghul contingents. The English declined the alliance. 
Nizam Ali, who was deeply offended at Tipu's recent assump- 
tion of the title of Sultan, promised his support. And the 
allies undertook to reduce Tipu's kingdom entirely and divide 
it between Nizam Ali, the Peshwa, Sindia and Holkar. In 
April, 1786, the confederate army converged on Badami, now a 
village in the Bijapur district. On the 20th May, Badami was 


brilliantly carried by assault. In the meantime Tipu had laid 
siege to Adoni, wherein lived the ladies of the seraglio of 
Basalat Jang, who had died in 1782. He failed, however, to 
carry it, and the garrison was relieved and the fort evacuated. 
Tipu razed it to the ground. Hari Ballal Phadke, in command 
of the Poona corps, obtained possession of the fort of Gajen- 
dragad, now a town in the Ron taluka of Dharwar, by bribing 
the commandant, and shortly afterwards took Bahadur Benda. 
This, however, was his last success. Tipu, who was a skilful 
general and enjoyed the immense advantage of an undivided 
command, crossed the Tungabhadra and threatened Phadke' s 
communications. In this way he forced the Maratha army to 
retire, and recovered Bahadur Benda and seized Savanur, the 
Nawab of which had joined the Marathas. Cholera, too, 
broke out in the Maratha army and their supplies ran short. 
On the whole the advantages of the campaign of 1786 rested 
with Tipu. Nevertheless, early in 1787, the Sultan offered 
terms of peace, and in April, 1787, he agreed to cede to the 
Marathas Badami, Kittur and Nargund, and to restore Adoni 
to the Nizam. He also paid to the Marathas thirty lakhs in 
cash and promised to pay fifteen lakhs more. The motive for 
conduct so unexpected was to be found in certain other 
designs of the Sultan of Mysore. The Marathas he disliked 
as rivals, but he neither feared them nor the Nizam of 
Haidarabad. There was, however, one power that he both 
hated and feared, namely the English ; and for some time 
past he had been engaged in diplomatic schemes to bring 
about their downfall. He had extorted from the foolishness 
of the Madras Government the peace of Mangalore in 1784 ; 
but he was too sensible not to realize that its favourable terms 
did not represent the real situation of the parties. In 1785, he 
sent an embassy to Constantinople to induce the Sultan of 
Turkey to join him and the French, in a league against the 
English. As the Sultan of Turkey had never even heard of 
Mysore, his reception of the envoys was more than chilling 
and they returned to India in a fury. Nothing daunted, Tipu 
sent an embassy under one Mahomed Darwash Khan to the 
court of Louis XVI. That unfortunate monarch had so 
many troubles of his own, that he could do no more than 
give the ambassadors a few excellent dinners and a few vague 


but gracious promises. The envoys, however, returned 
dazzled by the splendours of Versailles and assured the 
Sultan that troops and supplies would soon reach him from 
France. Tipu believed their assurances and looked about for 
the most convenient spot at which to receive the French 
transports. This was unquestionably the extreme south-west 
of India. It was in the possession of the Raja of Travancore, 
and Travancore was under the protection of the Madras 
Government ; but Tipu hoped to be able to subdue Travancore 
and at the same time cajole the members of the Madras 
Council, of whose weakness and timidity he had already had a 
gratifying experience. On the 28th December, 1789, Tipu with 
fourteen thousand men appeared before the Travancore lines, 
a series of fortifications thirty miles long erected originally 
to protect Travancore from the Zamorin of Calicut. Tipu 
hoped to carry them by a sudden assault and to overrun all 
Travancore before the English could intervene to save their 
feudatory. Unhappily for his schemes, his assault was 
repulsed with a loss of two thousand men. The news 
reached Calcutta and the Governor treated the unprovoked 
attack on his ally as an act of war. 

In December, 1787, Nana Phadnavis had proposed, through 
Malet, the English ambassador, an offensive and defensive 
alliance against Tipu ; but at that time, as I have said, Lord 
Cornwallis was not disposed to accept the offer. Nana Phad- 
navis, on hearing of Tipu's attack on the Travancore lines, 
renewed his proposal and undertook to obtain Nizam Ali's 
adhesion to a triple alliance. On the 1st June, 1790, Mr. Malet, 
on behalf of the Company, and Nana Phadnavis, both on behalf 
of the Peshwa and Nizam Ali, signed an offensive and defensive 
treaty of alliance in the Shanwar palace. 1 A painting in the 
Ganeshkhind palace of the Governor of Bombay still com- 
memorates this brilliant scene. It is by the artist Wales, and 
portrays the signing of the treaty by the British Envoy. 

In the meantime, Tipu had been continuing his attacks on 
Travancore. Smarting from his repulse before the Travancore 
lines, he sent for a train of siege guns from Seringapatam, and 
recommenced the campaign. The batteries were erected 

1 For the terms of the treaty see Appendix A. 


in March, 1790, and a month later the Mysore armies, having 
breached the lines, poured through the breach and carried fire 
and sword through the northern part of the state. Near 
Alwai, however, Tipu was checked by the skill of the Diwan 
Kasava Pillai, who kept the Sultan at bay until the monsoon 
broke with the severity usual on the Malabar coast. Tipu 
had failed in his object, which was to overrun Travancore 
and get a firm hold on the south-western coast before the rainy 
season ; and, realizing that he must soon face a combined 
attack from the Moghuls, Marathas and English, he withdrew 
his army northwards, losing heavily in his retreat. He thus 
had lost the prize and had now to suffer the punishment of 
his unprincipled policy (June, 1790). 

The object of the Maratha Government was to recover their 
former possessions between the Krishna and the Tungabhadra 
rivers, which Haidar Ali had occupied. The capital of the 
province was Dharwar, and to take that city was the first 
object of the Marathas. On the 11th August, the Maratha 
army under Parashrambhau Patwardhan crossed the Krishna. 
When the various contingents had reported their arrival, their 
numbers rose to twenty thousand men, of which half were 
cavalry. With them were an English corps consisting of the 
8th and 11th native infantry and one company of European 
artillery under the command of Captain Little. On the 18th 
September, 1790, Parashrambhau reached Dharwar. It was 
strongly held by an experienced officer of Tipu, named Badar- 
ul-zaman, and a garrison of ten thousand men, and its defences 
were of the strongest. Two ditches, each twenty-five to thirty 
feet wide, encircled it, and a minor fort known as the Peta 
enfiladed the approaches. On the 30th October, 1790, Captain 
Little stormed the Peta, but it was afterwards retaken by 
a sally of the garrison. Finally, on the 15th December, it 
was taken and held by a Maratha storming party. Neverthe- 
less the main fortress defied the besiegers for twenty-nine 
weeks and it was not until the 4th April, 1791, that the 
gallant Badar-ul-zaman capitulated. He was allowed to march 
out with the honours of war, but was subsequently taken 
prisoner with his men for having broken the terms of his 
capitulation. After the fall of Dharwar the Maratha army 
rapidly overran the province of which it was the chief town, 


and on the 22nd April, 1791, crossed the Tungabhadra. 
Another Maratha army thirty thousand strong had on the 1st 
January, 1791, left Poona under the command of Hari Ballal 
Phadke. This force took the fortress of Sira and marched 
south-west into Tipu's country, while Parashrambhau marched 
south-east. On the 24th May, 1791, they united and marched 
to Mailghat. 

In the meantime the English had been heavily engaged 
with Tipu. In December, 1790, General Medows had reduced 
Coimbatore, but had been foiled by the Sultan's military skill 
and had advanced no farther. On the other hand Colonel 
Hartley and General Abercromby defeated Tipu's general, 
Hussein Ali, and drove his troops from the entire Malabar 
Coast. In January, 1791, Lord Cornwallis, the Governor- 
General, personally relieved General Medows of his command, 
and, taking Kolar and Hosakot, marched on Bangalore. This 
city has now a population of 180,000 and is the second city in 
the Mysore State ; while owing to the salubrity of its climate 
it is a great favourite with European residents. It was 
originally a mud fortress built by Kempe Gauda or the Red 
Chief ; but in 1761, it was by order of Haidar Ali enlarged 
and strongly rebuilt in stone. After a stubborn defence by 
the commandant, Bahadur Khan, the town fell on the night of 
the 20th March, 1791. From Bangalore, Lord Cornwallis 
marched to Seringapatam. After a successful action outside 
the great fortress, fortune turned against the English general. 
His cattle died for want of fodder ; his communications had 
been cut and his starving troops were unable to haul the guns 
of which the bullocks had died. At last Lord Cornwallis 
abandoned all hope of a successful siege. He destroyed his 
siege train, threw his shot into the Cauveri river and on the 
26th May, 1791, retreated towards Bangalore. As his army 
marched, the monsoon burst, and, harassed as they were by 
Tipu's irregulars, their situation grew worse and worse. At 
last they came in sight of Mailghat. As they drew near to 
the town swarms of light cavalry poured from the gates. 
Thinking that they had fallen into an ambush, the English 
stood to their arms, resolved, if they could not cut their way 
through, to die where they stood. When the leading squad- 
rons came within gunshot, they declared themselves to be 


friends and allies. They were the cavalry of the two Maratha 
armies, of whose vicinity — such was the activity of the Mysore 
light horse— Lord Cornwallis had been unaware. The English 
army were now as elated as they had a few minutes before 
been dispirited ; and Hari Ballal Phadke did all in his power 
to alleviate the distress of his allies. 1 

The united armies halted for ten days to allow the English 
soldiers to recover their health and strength, and then again 
moved in different directions. The Marathas besieged Chital- 
durg and Madgiri, without success but in December reduced 
Simoga. The English joined the Moghul army, that was in 
vain besieging Garramkonda and took all the strong places 
between that fortress and Bangalore. In February, 1792, 
the armies of the three allies concentrated in front of Seringa- 
patam. On the 6th February, the allies carried the out- 
works and prepared to bombard the capital. At this point 
Tipu made overtures for peace. There were several conflict- 
ing interests in the councils of the allies. The English 
wished to destroy Tipu's power, which had been usurped by 
his father and had been a constant menace to the Madras 
Government. Nana Phadnavis desired to reduce Tipu's 
power, but at the same time to maintain him at Seringapatam. 
Hari Ballal Phadke wished to finish the war before the arrival 
of Madhavrao Sindia, who was advancing south to join the 
allied confederate forces. Eventually Lord Cornwallis was 
induced to accept the terms offered by Tipu, who ceded half 
his territories, and agreed to pay an indemnity of three crores 
and thirty thousand rupees and to release all prisoners. The 
ceded territories included the province of Coorg. The allies 
divided the spoils. To the Marathas fell the western towns 
and districts between the Krishna and the Tungabhadra, and 
also Bellari, south of the Tungabhadra. To the Nizam were 
allotted Gooti and Kadapa and the eastern towns and districts 
between the Tungabhadra and the Krishna, including Mudkal 
and Kopal. Coorg, Malabar, Dindigul, now included in the 
Madura district, and Baramahal, the north-eastern portion of 

1 The distress must have been considerable ; for the author of the 
Peshwa's bakhar observes "Such was the scarcity of food that the 
English had been forced to eat cattle and, so it is said, even children." 


the Salem district, passed into the hands of the English. By 
the end of March, 1792, the allied armies struck their camps 
and started separately for their frontiers. Hari Ballal Phadke 
reached Poona on the 25th May. But Tipu shewed his 
ingratitude by harassing Parashrambhau all the way from 
Seringapatam to the Tungabhadra. 




Treaty of offensive and defensive alliance between the Honourable 
United English East India Company, the Peshwa Savai Madhavrav 
Narayan Pandit Pradhan Bahadur and the Navab Nazim Alii Khan 
Asof Jah Bahadur, against Fatte Alii Khan, known by the denomination 
of Tipu Sultan, settled by Mr. Charles Warre Malet, on the part of the 
said Honourable Company, with the said Pandit Pradhan, by virtue of 
the powers delegated to him by the Right Honourable Charles, Earl 
Cornwallis, K.G., Governor-General in Council, appointed by the 
Honourable the Court of Directors of the said Honourable Company to 
direct and control all their affairs in the East Indies. 

Article I 

The friendship subsisting between the States agreeable to former 
treaties shall be increased by this. 

Article II 

Tipu Sultan, having engagements with the contracting parties, has, 
notwithstanding, acted with infidelity to them all, for which reason 
they have united in a league that to the utmost of their power they may 
punish him and deprive him of the means of disturbing the general 
tranquillity in future. » 

Article III 

This undertaking being resolved on, it is agreed that, on Mr. Malet's 
annunciation to Pandit Pradhan of the actual commencement of 
hostilities between the Honourable Company's forces and the said 
Tipu, and on Captain Kennaway's announcing the same to the Navab 
Asof Jah, the forces of the said Pandit Pradhan and Navab Asof Jah, 
in number not less than 25,000 but as many more and as much greater 
an equipment as may be, shall immediately invade the territories of the 
said Tipu, and reduce as much of his dominions as possible before and 
during the rains ; and after that -season the said Pandit Pradhan and 
Navab will seriously and vigorously prosecute the war with a potent 
army, well appointed and equipped with the requisite warlike 

Article IV 
The Navab Asof Jah being furnished with two battalions of the 
Honourable Company's forces, Pandit Pradhan shall have an option of 
being joined by equal force, on the same terms, during the present war 


against Tipu. The pay of the said battalions to be made good by 
Pandit Pradhan to the Honourable Company, in like manner as settled 
with the Navab Asof Jah. 

Article V 

On the said two battalions joining the Maratha army, Pandit Pradhan 
agrees to allot 2,000 horse to remain and act in concert with them. But, 
in the event of urgent service on which cavalry alone can be employed, 
1,000 of the said cavalry may be detached thereon, 1,000 remaining 
constantly with the battalions, whose pay shall be defrayed regularly, 
in ready money, every month in the army or in Poona, at the option of 
Mr. Malet. 

Article VI 

From the time of the said battalions entering Pandit Pradhan's 
territories, an Agent on the part of the said Pandit Pradhan shall be 
ordered to attend the Commander to execute such service as may occur. 

Article VII 

If the Right Honourable the Governor-General should require a body 
of cavalry to join the English forces, Pandit Pradhan and the Navab 
Asof Jah shall furnish to the number of 10,000, to march in one month 
from the time of their being demanded by the shortest and safest route, 
with all possible expedition to the place of their destination, to act with 
the Company's forces ; but, should any service occur practicable only 
by cavalry, they shall execute it nor cavil on the clause, " To act with the 
Company's forces." The pay of the said cavalry to be defrayed 
monthly by the Honourable Company, at the rate and on the conditions 
hereafter to be settled. 

Article VIII 
If in the prosecution of the war by the three allies, the enemy should 
gain a superiority over either, the others shall, to the utmost of their 
power, exert themselves to relieve the said party and distress the 

Article IX 

The three contracting powers having agreed to enter into the present 
war, should their arms be crowned with success in the joint prosecution 
of it, an equal division shall be made of the acquisition of territory, 
forts, and whatever each Sirkar or Government may become possessed 
of, from the time of each party commencing hostilities ; but, should the 
Honourable Company's forces make any acquisitions of territory from 
the enemy previous to the commencement of hostilities by the other 
parties, those parties shall not be entitled to any share thereof. In the 
general partition of territory, forts, etc., due attention shall be paid 
to the wishes and convenience of the parties, relatively to their 
respective frontiers. 


Article X 

The underwritten Polygars and Zamindars being dependent on 
Pandit Pradhan and the Navab Asof Jah, it is agreed that, on their 
territories, forts, etc., falling into the hands of any of the allies, they 
shall be re-established therein, and the Nazarana that shall be fixed on 
that occasion shall be equally divided amongst the allies, but in future 
Pandit Pradhan and the Navab Asof Jah shall collect from them the 
usual Khandani and Peshkush which have been heretofore annually 
collected. And, should the said Polygars and Zamindars act unfaith- 
fully towards Pandit Pradhan or the Navab, or prove refractory, in the 
discharge of their Khandani and Peshkush, the said Pandit Pradhan and 
Navab are to be at liberty to treat them as may be judged proper. The 
Chief of Savnur is to be subject to service with both Pandit Pradhan 
and the Navab, and, should he fail in the usual conditions thereof, 
Pandit Pradhan and the Navab will act as they think proper. 
List of Polygars and Zamindars 
Chittledurg Keychungunde 

Annagundy Cunnaghwarry 

Harponelly Kittur 

Bellari Hannur 

The district of Abdul Hakim Khan, the Chief of Savnur. 

Article XI 

To preserve, as far as possible, consistency and concert in the con- 
duct of this important undertaking, a Vakil from each party shall be 
permitted to reside in the army of the others, for the purpose of 
communicating to each other their respective views and circumstances ; 
and the representations of the contracting parties to each other shall 
be duly attended to consistent with the circumstances and stipulations 
of this treaty. 

Article XII 

After this treaty is signed and sealed, it will become incumbent on 
the parties not to swerve from its conditions at the verbal or written 
instance of any person or persons whatever, or on any other pretence. 
And, in the event of a peace being judged expedient, it shall be made 
by mutual consent, no party introducing unreasonable objections ; nor 
shall either of the parties enter into any separate negotiations with 
Tipu, but on the receipt of any advance or message from him, by either 
party, it shall be communicated to the others. 

Article XIII 

If, after the conclusion of peace with Tipu, he should molest or attack 
either of the contracting parties, the others shall join to punish him ; 
the mode and conditions of effecting which shall be hereafter settled by 
the three contracting powers. 



Article XIV 

This treaty consisting of fourteen articles, being this day settled and 
concluded by Mr. Malet, with the Peshwa Savai Madhavrav Narayan 
Pandit Pradhan Bahadur, Mr. Malet has delivered to Pandit Pradhan 
one copy of the same, in English and Persian, signed and sealed by 
himself, and Pandit Pradhan has delivered to Mr. Malet another copy in 
Marathi and Persian executed by himself ; and Mr. Malet has engaged 
to procure and deliver to Pandit Pradhan in seventy-five days a ratified 
copy from the Governor, on the delivery of which the treaty executed 
by Mr. Malet shall be returned. 


1st June, 1799. 

(Sd.) C. W. 


True Copy. 

Sd. C. W. MALET. 

Ratified by the Governor-General in Council, at Fort William in 
Bengal, the 5th day of July, 1790. 




From the treaty of Salbai onwards, the ruling house of 
Sindia have been independent princes. Nevertheless, for the 
proper grasp of subsequent events, it is necessary briefly to 
sketch the story of Madhavrao Sindia from the point where 
we left the affairs of Delhi in chapter lvii. 

On the recall of Visaji Krishna and the Maratha army in 
1773, by Narayanrao for the conquest of Mysore, Najaf Khan 
regained his supreme position in the emperor's councils and 
with occasional intervals retained it until his death on the 
22nd April, 1782. His adopted son Afrasiab Khan succeed- 
ed him as Amir-ul-Umra, the premier noble ; but from this 
favoured position he was ousted by one Mahomed Beg Hama- 
dani, the Governor of the Agra province. Afrasiab Khan 
invited the help of Madhavrao Sindia. The latter accepted 
the invitation and joined Afrasiab Khan at Agra. There 
Afrasiab Khan was assassinated, and Madhavrao Sindia re- 
moved Mahomed Beg Hamadani by sending him to reduce 
the fortress of Raghogad in Khechiwara. It belonged to the 
Kechi clan of the Chauhan Rajputs, who claimed descent from 
the immortal Prithvi Raj, and it blocked the way from Gwalior 
to Delhi. In this way the Maratha chief became the first 
power in the imperial city. He refused the title of Amir-ul- 
Umra, but accepted on the Peshwa's behalf that of Vakil-ul- 
Mutalik or sole director of the empire. Shah Alam resigned 
into his hands the command of his army and all his territories, 
namely, the district and town of Delhi. In return Sindia 
settled sixty-five thousand rupees a month on the emperor, 
over whom he stationed a Maratha guard. 

Unhappily Sindia' s resources were not equal to his ambi- 
tions. He soon found that he could pay regularly neither the 
emperor nor his own troops. To find money he confiscated 
the feudal estates of a number of Musulman feudatories and 


tried to exact tribute in the emperor's name from the chiefs of 
Rajputana. He succeeded in obtaining; in person a considera- 
ble sum from the Raja of Jaipur ; but when in 1787 he sent a 
Maratha officer, known as Rayaji Patil, to collect a further 
sum, the latter was attacked and defeated. Madhavrao Sindia 
marched in person against Jaipur, but the Raja of Jodhpur 
hastened to his brother Rajput's help. Next Mahomed Beg 
Hamadani, who had joined Sindia after the capture of Ragho- 
gad, deserted to the enemy and in the severe action that 
followed, Sindia was overwhelmed and eventually pursued as 
far as Gwalior. Sindia's defeat freed Shah Alam from the 
Maratha chief's tutelage ; but it also robbed the emperor of 
Maratha protection, as he was soon to learn by the most 
bitter experience. In January, 1785, Zabita Khan, the son of 
Najib-ud-Daula, the Rohilla chief, died, leaving a son called 
Ghulam Kadir, a young man of ability and energy. Seeing 
Shah Alam unprotected at Delhi, he determined to march on 
the capital and by seizing the emperor's person to extort from 
him the office of Amir-ul-Umra. To his aid he invited Ismail 
Beg, the nephew of Mahomed Beg Hamadani. The small 
Maratha garrison left there by Sindia evacuated Delhi at his 
approach. Shah Alam after a show of resistance invested 
Ghulam Kadir with the desired office. The latter then, after 
taking Aligarh from the Marathas, joined Ismail Beg, who 
was besieging Agra, held in the Maratha interest by Lakhwa 
Dada, an experienced Shenvi officer. Sindia tried to relieve 
the city by sending a force under his officer Rana Khan, 1 but 
the relieving force was defeated. A second attempt was more 
successful. On the 18th June, 1788, Rana Khan with his 
army strongly reinforced again advanced. Ghulam Kadir, 
whose skill and daring had won the former battle, had left 
Agra to defend his own dominions from a Sikh incursion. 
Ismail Beg, deprived of the Rohilla soldier's help, fought a 
gallant battle among the ruins of Fatehpur Sikri. He charged 
the Marathas with the utmost fury, but was completely 
defeated ; and, severely wounded and almost alone, he made 

1 Rana Khan was at one time a bhisti or water carrier, and was said 
to have saved Madhavrao Sindia when wounded in the flight from 


his way to the camp of Ghulam Kadir. The officer who bore 
the chief part in this great Maratha victory was a Frenchman 
named Benoit de Boigne. 

The story of this Frenchman might well have been told of 
one of the paladins of Charlemagne. Born in Chambery in 
Savoy in 1751, he was forced when still a lad, to flee the 
country, because of a duel with a Sardinian officer. The year 
1768 saw him an ensign in the Irish brigade of the French 
king, a corps open to adventurers of all nations and famed 
throughout Europe for its discipline and valour. Not finding 
there the promotion which he desired, he resigned in 1774 the 
French service and obtained a captaincy in a Greek regiment 
in the pay of the Empress Catherine. Taken prisoner by the 
Turks in an attack on Tenedos, he was sent to Constantinople 
and sold as a slave ; but he succeeded in communicating 
with his parents, who ransomed him. Returning to the 
Empress Catherine, he won that amorous lady's transient 
affections and was made a major. When his volatile mistress 
tired of the young Savoyard, she sent him on a cruise 
among the islands of the Grecian archipelago. There he met 
some European merchants just returned from India, whose 
descriptions of the country so fired his imagination, that he at 
once resolved to go there. He tried to reach his destination 
overland, but failed owing to a war between Turkey and 
Persia. From Aleppo he set sail for Alexandria. There his 
ship was wrecked off the mouth of the Nile and he was taken 
prisoner by some Arabs. He expected to be sold again as 
a slave, but the kind-hearted nomads, instead of selling him, 
helped him with their own money to reach Cairo. There he 
met friends, who enabled him to take ship for Madras. 
Sorely reduced in circumstances, he accepted an ensign's 
commission in the 6th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry. 
Wearying of the English army and not over well treated, he 
offered his services in turn to the Rana of Gohad and the 
Raja of Jaipur. Eventually he accepted the pay of Madhav- 
rao Sindia, who had learnt from the fighting against General 
Goddard and the loss of Gwalior the immense value of 
European discipline and European tactics. 

After the battle of Fatehpur Sikri, de Boigne left the service 
of Sindia and became a business man in Lucknow. Sindia, 


satisfied with his victory over Ismail Beg and possibly render- 
ed irresolute by the departure of de Boigne, did not march 
on Delhi, but stopped at Mathura. This gave Ghulam Kadir 
and Ismail Beg an opportunity of immortalizing themselves 
by their wickedness and cruelty — an opportunity of which they 
fully availed themselves. Collecting the fugitives from 
Fatehpur Sikri, the two confederates marched on Delhi. The 
emperor refused them admittance, but Ismail Beg won over 
the garrison and he and Ghulam Kadir entered the citadel. 
They first pretended to have come as partisans of Shah Alam, 
but, once masters of the palace, they resolved to plunder both 
the emperor and his capital. The former task was assigned 
to Ghulam Kadir and the latter to Ismail Beg. Ghulam Kadir 
had, it would seem, been told by the emperor's nazir, a eunuch 
in charge of the household expenditure, that Shah Alam had a 
hidden treasure. As the emperor would not or could not 
surrender it, Ghulam Kadir deposed him and enthroned in his 
place Bedar Bakht, a son of the Emperor Ahmad Shah. He 
then starved and flogged the inmates of the palace, of both 
sexes, in order to secure the phantom millions of the emperor. 
As this procedure effected nothing, he flogged and blinded 
Shah Alam by digging the emperor's eyes out with his own 
dagger, and caused to be outraged in his presence the ladies of 
the imperial family. 1 These excesses lasted for some weeks, 
until at last Ismail Beg, thoroughly disgusted with his accom- 
plice, called in the help of Madhavrao Sindia. The Maratha 
army at once marched from Mathura to Delhi. Ghulam Kadir 
on learning of Ismail Beg's defection evacuated the palace 
and took refuge in Meerut, which Sindia at once invested. 
After a two months' siege Ghulam Kadir fled from Meerut ; 
but, falling from his horse, he was captured by some peasants 
and brought to Sindia. Ghulam Kadir's punishment did not 
err on the side of undue leniency. With blackened face he 
was sent round Mathura on a jackass. He was then blinded, 

1 Ghulam Kadir was a typical Rohilla, After reading of his atroci- 
ties, one turns with some amusement to Macaulay's remark in his 
essay on Warren Hastings, " The only natives of India to whom the 
word ' Gentleman ' can with perfect propriety be applied are to be 
found among the Rohillas." The historian Keene has described Ghulam 
Kadir as a " harem page ", but this is doubtful. 


mutilated and hanged and his lands were occupied by a 
Maratha force. 

Sindia had regretted the departure of de Boigne ; and his 
regrets were heightened by the departure of two other officers 
about the same time — Medoc, who went back to France, where 
he was killed in a duel, and Lestineaux, who vanished with the 
jewellery found on Ghulam Kadir. He now begged de Boigne 
to return ; this de Boigne did, finding soldiering more to his 
taste than business. Sindia authorized him to raise three 
brigades of disciplined infantry, some field artillery and a few 
squadrons of horse. This force was fit for service by 1790, 
and Sindia sent it against Ismail Beg, who, tired of inaction, 
had become the ally of the Jaipur and Jodhpur Rajputs. On 
the 19th June, 1790, was fought the bloody battle of Patan, 
when de Boigne, to use his own words, " realized all the 
expectations of Sindia ". After resisting throughout the day 
the tremendous charges of the Rathor cavalry, he led his men 
to the assault of the batteries. Before night fell Ismail Beg 
had lost his guns, his elephants and his baggage. Next day 
his army deserted in a mass to the Marathas. 

On the 21st August, 1790, de Boigne entered Ajmir, the 
town which Bijaysing had ceded to Raghunathrao but had 
retaken during the subsequent disorders in the Maratha state. 
Near Ajmir is the great stronghold of Taragad or the star 
fortress. De Boigne invested it ; but before he could take it, 
the Maharaja of Jodhpur marched to its relief with thirty 
thousand men. On the 10th September, de Boigne attacked 
the Maharaja near the town of Merta. In spite of the most 
reckless gallantry on the part of the Rathors, and their com- 
plete defeat of the Maratha horse, de Boigne had by 10 a.m. 
stormed the Rajputs' camp and dispersed their army. Merta 
surrendered next day and Taragad shortly afterwards. 

On the 18th November, 1790, the Maharaja Bijaysing of 
Jodhpur, the murderer of Jayappa Sindia, opened the gates of 
Jodhpur to the general of Jayappa's kinsman. Partabsing the 
Maharaja of Jaipur, after a feeble resistance, followed the 
example of Bijaysing and submitted. So, too, did the lordly 
chief of Mewar, the Maharana of Udaipur. 

Madhavrao Sindia was delighted with his general's successes 
and bade him increase his regular infantry to eighteen 


thousand men, to raise bodies of light troops, and to add to 
the number of his field-pieces. The reorganization was 
complete by 1791, and this was the army that Sindia 
wished to send against Seringapatam. Nana Phadnavis, 
jealous of Sindia's power, declined his assistance, and Hari 
Ballal Phadke induced Lord Cornwallis to make peace with 
Tipu before de Boigne's arrival. 

Outwitted by Nana Phadnavis, Madhavrao Sindia determined 
to go to the Deccan and, if possible, substitute himself for the 
Brahman minister in the favour of the young Peshwa. On the 
expulsion of Ghulam Kadir, the unfortunate Shah Alam had 
been restored to the throne of Delhi. He renewed the 
Peshwa's patent of Vakil-i-Mutalik and in 1790, after the 
battle of Patan, made it an inalienable, hereditary office. In 
June, 1792, Sindia made this a pretext for a visit to Poona. 
As deputy Vakil-i-Mutalik it was his duty to convey to his 
master's own hands the emperor's sign-manual. Nana Phad- 
navis urged the Peshwa to refuse the title ; but the young 
prince was attracted by the honour and formally obtained from 
the Raja of Satara leave to accept it. Nana Phadnavis on this 
changed his tactics. He arranged that the ceremony should 
be held with the greatest pomp and circumstance. He called 
on Sindia, who received him with magnificent courtesy in what 
is now the Sangam garden, the official residence of the judge 
of Poona. On the following day the Peshwa received Sindia, 
who affected a calculated humility. On approaching the 
Peshwa's tent, he descended from his elephant and, leaving his 
bodyguard behind, walked alone to the tent and took his 
station below all the other officials. When the Peshwa 
entered, Sindia refused to be seated and from a bundle 
produced a pair of new slippers. " This " he murmured " was 
my father's occupation and it must also be mine ". Reverently 
removing the Peshwa's slippers, he put on his feet the new 
ones from the bundle. Having thus shown his gratitude and 
loyalty to the heir of his benefactor, he showed his own 
wealth and power by bestowing on the prince the richest and 
rarest gifts of Hindustan. 

Next day the ceremony took place of handing to the Peshwa 
the imperial patent. Within a splendid tent Sindia had 
erected a throne, the emblem of the absent emperor. On it 


lay the imperial orders, the dresses of honour and the insignia 
of the new office. The Peshwa approached the throne, bowed 
three times before it, offered to it a hundred gold mohurs and 
then seated himself to its left. A Persian on Sindia's staff 
asked permission of the Peshwa to read aloud the imperial 
grant as well as a decree highly gratifying to the Hindus 
present. By it Shah Alam forbade throughout India the 
slaughter of cows and bullocks. After the documents had 
been read, Sindia bestowed on the prince the nine robes of 
honour, the jewels, the sword and shield, the seal, the pen-case, 
the inkstand, the fan of peacock feathers, the gilded sedan 
chair, the palanquin, the horses, the elephants, the imperial 
standard, the crescents, the stars, and the orders of the Fish 
and the Sun, bestowed by the emperor on his perpetual 
viceregent. The Peshwa donned the robes of honour, receiv- 
ed the nazars or offerings of the high officers of state, and 
returned to Poona seated in the gilded sedan-chair. As he 
went, Madhavrao Sindia and Hari Ballal Phadke fanned him 
with the imperial peacock fans. In the palace at Poona, the 
second part of the ceremony was enacted, and the Peshwa as 
Vakil-i-Mutalik bestowed on his deputy, Madhavrao Sindia, the 
robes of honour and gifts due to him on his investiture. The 
whole ceremonial was most carefully organized by Nana Phad- 
navis and Madhavrao Sindia, and was the most splendid that 
Poona had ever seen. It completely captivated the imagina- 
tion of Madhavrao the Peshwa. Nevertheless it was only 
preliminary to a sustained effort on Sindia's part to oust 
Nana Phadnavis. Hunting, hawking, sports of every kind, 
were arranged to gratify the prince's boyish tastes, and Sindia 
beguiled the tedium of the hours between by tales of fights 
on the Jamna and the Ganges, and of cavalry actions among 
the wild valleys of Rajasthan and the broad plains round 

Nana Phadnavis saw clearly the aims of Madhavrao Sindia 
and sought for a suitable weapon with which to drive him 
from Poona. This he found ready to his hand in Tukoji 
Holkar. As his mistress Ahalyabai grew old, she spent more 
and more time in the building of temples, the repetition of 
prayers and the practice of penances ; and she left the work 
of administration almost wholly to her adopted son Tukoji. 


That distinguished soldier had seen with bitter jealousy the 
victories of de Boigne and he resolved to hire another 
Frenchman to raise a similarly disciplined army. The man 
on whom his choice fell was a Breton gentleman known as 
the Chevalier du Drenec. Du Drenec was a native of Brest 
and came of a good family, his father being a commodore in 
the French navy. He ran away from his ship, took service 
with Medoc's corps at Delhi, left Medoc for Reinhardt, and now 
accepted Tukoji's offer and a monthly salary of Rs. 3,000. 
Du Drenec did his work well and had soon trained four 
battalions of infantry and a small body of artillery. While 
thus preparing himself for war, Tukoji Holkar secretly allied 
himself to Ismail Beg, who had taken refuge with the widow 
of Najaf Khan, Ghulam Kadir's sister. That turbulent lady 
had established herself in Kannad, a strong place on the 
borders of Bikanir. It was surrounded by sandhills, and 
tamarisk scrub, which afforded neither food nor water to a 
besieging army and was almost impassable for siege-guns. 
Before Ismail Beg could take any definite course, de Boigne 
sent against him his second in command, another Frenchman, 
named Perron, who had come to India as a common sailor but 
had joined the corps of Sangster, a mercenary officer in the pay 
of the Rana of Gohad. Afterwards he took service under 
Sindia, and when Lestineaux vanished with Ghulam Kadir's 
jewellery, he was given the command of a battalion and after 
the defeat of Ismail Beg the command of a brigade. 

This capable officer made his way through the dry and 
difficult country round Kannad, defeated Ismail Beg in an 
action outside the fortress and in a short time forced him to 
surrender. Having despatched Ismail Beg to a prison in the 
Agra fort, de Boigne was able to give his full attention to 
Tukoji Holkar. He took the field with nine thousand infantry, 
on whose banners danced the emblem of his own native country, 
the white cross of Savoy. He effected a junction with Lakwa 
Dada, another general of Sindia, who commanded a large 
body of Maratha cavalry. On the 20th September, 1792, 
de Boigne came upon Tukoji Holkar at the Lakheri pass in 
the territory of the Kotah state, on the road from Kannad to 
Ajmir. The battle was obstinately disputed. Du Drenec did 
for his master all that a gallant and experienced French officer 


could do. Indeed, fortune seemed at first to smile on 
Holkar. As de Boigne advanced, his columns, unprotected 
by his own fire, were mown down by Holkar's batteries. 
When he hastened up his guns to protect his infantry, a lucky 
shell blew up a dozen carts of ammunition. In the midst of 
the ensuing confusion, great masses of Holkar's cavalry 
charged de Boigne's wavering infantry. An ordinary man 
might have thought that by a retirement alone could the army 
be saved. But de Boigne was no ordinary man. Cool and 
collected in the midst of danger, he re-formed his regiments 
under cover of a wood and poured volley after volley 
into Holkar's squadrons. As they paused, he charged them 
with his small body of disciplined cavalry, and followed the 
charge with a general advance up the Lakheri pass. Du 
Drenec with one thousand, five hundred men held the pass 
bravely and well ; and it was not until nearly all the officers 
and men of his newly formed battalions had fallen side by 
side, that de Boigne captured the pass and thirty-eight guns. 
Holkar's routed army fled the field and revenged themselves 
by sacking Sindia's capital, Ujjain. 

The failure of Holkar rendered Nana Phadnavis impotent ; 
and the arrival of Parashrambhau Patwardhan with two thousand 
horse in the minister's interest only furnished Madhavrao 
Sindia with an excuse for summoning M. Perron with a 
brigade of disciplined infantry. At the same time Sindia 
began to interfere openly in the administration. When Nana 
Phadnavis on behalf of the young Peshwa assumed the charge 
of the lands of the Pant Sachiv, still a minor, Sindia drove 
out Bajirao Moreshwar, Nana Phadnavis' agent, and restored 
his possessions to the young noble. At last the situation 
became so acute that the minister made a personal appeal to 
his master. He related the efforts by which he had guarded 
the young prince's throne, how he had fought Raghunathrao, 
the English, the Nizam and Tipu, one after the other and all 
successfully. In Sindia he saw a more dangerous and insidi- 
ous enemy — one who would not only remove the minister but 
the Peshwa himself from his office, and, in the name of the 
faineant Raja of Satara, govern the Maratha Empire in his 
own interests. If, however, he (Nana Phadnavis) no longer 
retained his master's confidence, he would gladly resign his 


burden and, as befitted a Brahman in the decline of life, would 
become an anchorite on the banks of the Ganges. The 
eloquence of the minister and the recollection of his many 
kindnesses and his past loyalty moved the generous-hearted 
boy to tears. He begged his old servant's forgiveness and 
promised to repay his services by unabated trust. Victorious 
for the moment, Nana Phadnavis resumed his labours ; but 
Sindia also renewed his intrigues, and would in all probability 
have succeeded in his aims, had he not succumbed to an 
enemy more formidable even than Nana Phadnavis. Early in 
February, 1794, he fell suddenly ill of fever. After a few 
days' illness he died in his camp at Vanavdi, a spot just outside 
the eastern limits of Poona. 

The author of the Tarikh-i-Muzaffari has told a fantastic 
story of Sindia's murder by the agents of Nana Phadnavis ; 
but, although the tale has found credence with one or two 
English writers, it is quite unfounded. The life of Madhav- 
rao Sindia had been spent in the camp and the field. His 
brothers had fallen one by one in action, and he himself had 
been so severely wounded at Panipat that, but for timely aid 
he would have bled to death. His life had been passed in 
ambitious schemes and arduous labours. He had recently 
suffered a diplomatic defeat at the hands of Nana Phadnavis. 
There was nothing strange that his frame, worn out by toil and 
cares, should have proved unable to throw off a malignant 

That Madhavrao Sindia was a great man none can deny, and 
in the wars against the English he did valuable service to his 
country. But his conduct after the peace of Salbai was not in 
the interests of the Poona Government. He had no desires 
save for his own advancement ; and his affected humility in 
the Peshwa's presence merely cloaked his designs to usurp 
the Peshwa's office and to govern in his place, as the 
viceregent both of the emperor of Delhi and of the Raja of 

Kf : ; ' 


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MEB& ' «— r-A^I^y^^^^B 


Bk - , : . ,<£»L^kk[ ■ JJHB 







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Letter from the Peshwa Madhavrao Narayan to the Chhatra- 

pati of Satara, asking leave to invest Sindia with the office 

of deputy viceroy. 

To Shrimant Chhatrapati, the Ornament of the Kshatriya Race, 
with respectful compliments from Madhavrao Narayan, doing well 
under the auspices of Your Majesty.— While Ghulam Kadir was 
in the service of the Emperor at Delhi, actuated by a spirit of turbu- 
lence he made many secret plots against the Emperor, and in violation 
of all bonds of loyalty he even went to the length of incarcerating 
the Emperor. At this juncture in the history of the Empire, Mahadaji 
Sindia gave a strong and effective rebuff to the rebellious spirit 
of Ghulam Kadir and his accomplices, and, restoring order in the 
kingdom, and liberty to the Emperor, reinstated him again on the 
throne. Thereupon the Emperor, being greatly gratified, said that 
Mahadaji Sindia had taught a bitter lesson to the rebel chieftain for his 
miscreant spirit and had restored order in the kingdom, which so many 
of His Majesty's servants could not do. This is a service unique in 
itself. In appreciation of the Pant Pradhan's services, the Emperor 
expressed his wish to confer upon Sindia the titles of Mutalik and 
Mirbakshagiri. After the Emperor's talk with Mahadaji Sindia regard- 
ing this, he immediately passed orders to that effect, and handed over 
to Sindia the robe of honour, the badge of distinction and a significant 
reward. These Sindia has brought with him here, as we learned from 
him when he saw us very recently. But we solicit orders from Your 
Lordship in this connection, without which we cannot invest him with 
the new honour. — With this we respectfully subscribe, 

(Parasnis' Collection). 





The death of Madhavrao Sindia left Nana Phadnavis without 
a rival in the Maratha Empire. The Peshwa fell once more 
under the dominion of his commanding mind, and a success- 
ful foreign war raised to an even higher point the minister's 
fortunes. Nizam Ali had for many years taken advantage 
of the disorders at Poona, to withhold the Maratha dues of 
chauth and sardeshmukhi. In 1791, Nana Phadnavis directed 
the Maratha envoys at the Nizam's court, Govindrao Kale and 
Govindrao Pingle, to demand the appointment of commis- 
sioners to settle the Nizam's debt. The Nizam appointed 
commissioners ; but they produced a set of figures so 
ridiculously inaccurate as to show the Poona Government 
to be in debt to Nizam Ali. Nana Phadnavis examined 
them carefully and refuted them item by item. The Nizam 
was silenced and promised to settle the Maratha claims 
on the close of the war against Tipu. On the conclu- 
sion of that war the Nizam again delayed a settlement 
and rapidly added to his army. To effect this measure 
he employed a French officer named Francois de Raymond. 
This gallant adventurer was born in Gascony in 1755. In 
1775, when twenty years of age he became a sub-lieutenant 
in the service of Haidar Ali. In 1783, he was given a 
commission in the French army and served as aide-de-camp 
to de Bussy. In 1786 he entered the service of Nizam Ali 
and raised a regiment, first three hundred and afterwards seven 
hundred strong. His bravery and skill in the war against 
Tipu caused his command to grow to five thousand. He was 
now ordered to increase his force to one of twenty-three 
battalions. The Nizam, his preparations completed, rejected 
contemptuously the Maratha claims and informed Govindrao 
Kale that, so far from his owing anything to the Marathas, they 


owed him twenty-six million rupees. The Nizam's diwan, 
Mashir-ul-Mulk, added that, if Nana Phadnavis wished for 
further explanations, he should attend the Nizam's court ; and 
that if he did not do so he would be brought there by force. 
Such an insult was one that no ambassador could suffer, and 
Govindrao Kale and Govindrao Pingle left Haidarabad and 
returned to Poona. Both Governments prepared for war. 

The Nizam, who placed the utmost confidence in Raymond's 
battalions, expected the rapid subjugation of the Maratha 
Deccan. His confidence spread through his army, which 
assembled at Bedar, and his captains talked openly of sacking 
and burning Poona. But the chief braggart was the diwan 
Mashir-ul-Mulk, who, with a fine taste in rhetoric, declared in 
open darbar that the Moghuls would now be freed from 
Maratha encroachments ; that they would recover Bijapur and 
Khandesh, and that they would never grant the Marathas 
peace until they had sent the Peshwa off to Benares, with a 
cloth about his loins and a pot of water in his hand, to mutter 
incantations on the banks of the Ganges. 1 

The preparations of Nana Phadnavis were such as to 
cause Nizam Ali to reflect gravely. They were on a 
gigantic scale. Daulatrao Sindia, Madhavrao's great nephew 
and successor, and Tukoji Holkar were already in Poona and 
at once offered contingents ; of these Sindia' s numbered 
twenty-five thousand and Holkar's sixteen thousand. Govind- 
rao Gaikvad, who, on the successive deaths of his younger 
brothers, Fatehsing and Manajirao, had on the 19th December, 
1793, become sole ruler of Baroda, 2 sent a large force from 
Guzarat. Raghuji Bhosle, who on his father Mudhoji's death 
in 1788 had become autocrat of Nagpur and Berar, joined in 
person with fifteen thousand horse and foot. Besides these 
great Maratha captains there were present other lesser 
Maratha feudatories. Nimbalkar, Ghatge, Chavan, Daphle, 
Powar, Thorat and Patankar, and the Brahman chieftains, 
Malegaonkar, Vinchurkar, the Pratinidhi, the Pant Sachiv and 
the Rastes were all fittingly represented. In all, the Maratha 
army numbered no less than 130,000 cavalry and infantry 

1 Grant Duff, vol. II, p. 243. 

2 He was officially regent on behalf of his imbecile brother Sayaji. 


and ten thousand Pindharis or irregular horse. The Peshwa's 
household troops were commanded by Ramchandra, commonly 
called Baburao Phadke, the son of Hari Ballal Phadke. 
The latter fell ill of dysentery shortly after the death of 
Sindia, and, resigning his offices, he bade the Peshwa farewell 
and retired to Siddhatik, at which holy spot he devoted his 
last days to the worship of Ganpati. His piety, unhappily, 
did not cure his disease, and he died in June, 1794, leaving a 
high reputation as a valiant and skilful commander. 

The Maratha army was under the supreme command of Patwardhan. Hearing on the 10th March 
that Nizam Ali was marching towards Kharda, a town fifty-six 
miles south-east of Ahmadnagar, the Maratha generalissimo 
sent Baburao Phadke ahead to attack the Moghuls in the 
Mohri pass. Baburao had neither his father's skill nor 
experience and was driven back with heavy loss. The 
Moghuls camped that night at Kharda and next morning 
marched towards Parinda. On the march they met a recon- 
naissance in force led by Patwardhan in 
person. A body of Afghans in the Nizam's service charged 
the Marathasand, wounding the commander-in-chief , dispersed 
the whole Maratha vanguard. The action spread to the main 
armies, and the severest fighting took place between Ray- 
mond's regular battalions and those of Perron, who was in 
command of Sindia' s disciplined troops. Nizam Ali had been 
in his youth a daring man ; but success and prosperity seem 
to have sapped his courage. Suddenly and for no apparent 
reason he ordered a general retirement on Kharda. The 
Moghul retreat filled the Marathas with confidence, and by the 
time the Moghuls had reached Kharda they were a beaten 
army. During the night their depression became acute and 
the discharge of a sentry's musket produced a universal panic. 
The Moghul army that had hardly suffered in the field fled 
from their camp in terror ; and morning found the Nizam with 
only ten thousand men cowering inside Kharda fort, round 
which was strewn far and wide the wreckage of the vanished 
army. The Marathas without delay encircled Kharda. It was 
but a little fort commanded by hills, and soon a glass of water 
was selling for a gold mohur. The horses and cattle all died 
for want of forage and in a few days the Nizam was forced to 


sue for peace in the most humiliating fashion. 1 He sent his 
envoy with his seal and dagger to put them at Nana 
Phadnavis' feet and implored him to name his own terms of 
peace. Nana Phadnavis remembered how the unscrupulous 
Nizam had cajoled Raghunathrao and then turned his enemy ; 
and the terms that he imposed were by no means easy. First 
and foremost, Nana Phadnavis demanded the surrender of the 
vainglorious Mashir-ul-Mulk, who had so grossly insulted the 
Peshwa. To this the Nizam agreed, although with great 
reluctance. Mashir-ul-Mulk was handed over and escorted to 
the Maratha camp by two hundred Maratha horse. In 
addition the Nizam ceded : — 

(1) The fort of Daulatabad and all the territory from the 
Tapti river to the fort of Parinda to the Peshwa. 

(2) Lands worth Rs. 3,18,000 annually to Raghuji 

(3) The Nizam also agreed to pay Rs. 3,00,00,000 to the 
Peshwa by way of indemnity and arrears of tribute, and 
Rs. 29,00,000 by way of arrears to Raghuji Bhosle. 

This victory was justly prized by the Marathas as one of the 
greatest that they had ever gained. With a loss of barely a 
hundred men, they had defeated and dispersed an army of 
over a hundred thousand men ; they had taken vast quantities 
of plunder, and, besides killing and wounding fifteen thousand 
of the enemy in the pursuit, they had extorted from the Nizam 
concessions of the greatest value. The merit of the achieve- 
ment rests wholly with the great regent. Pie alone had the 
influence that could overawe and control the Peshwa' s 
turbulent feudatories. Daulatrao Sindia was his subservient 
ally. Tukoji Holkar, whose mind and body were rapidly 
decaying, was the minister's creature. Raghuji Bhosle was 
devoted to his cause. Govindrao Gaikvad had suffered too 
much in the past to risk a quarrel ; and the Chitpavan jaghir- 
dars honoured Nana Phadnavis as a caste-fellow. For a 
few months after the battle of Kharda Nana Phadnavis was 
the foremost figure in India ; then from the cloudless sky fell 
a thunderbolt. 

1 Grant Duff says the siege lasted for two days. The Chitnis Bakhar 
says it lasted for seventeen days. 


The cause of the terrible disaster that overtook the Maratha 
state on the 25th October, ]795, must be traced to the family 
of Raghunathrao, who had during his lifetime brought such 
misfortunes on his country. Raghunathrao had chosen, as 
already mentioned, the little town of Kopargaon on the Goda- 
vari, some miles downstream from Nasik. Some time after 
his death his widow asked for and obtained leave to move, for 
reasons of health, from Kopargaon to a small village nearer 
Nasik, which, called after her, is still known as Anandvali. 1 
Thither she took her two sons Bajirao and Chimnaji Appa and 
her adopted son Amratrao. The change did her health no 
good and she died there in April, 1794. When war broke out 
between the Maratha Government and the Nizam, Nana 
Phadnavis had the three boys taken from Anandvali to the 
fort of Shivner, where the Great King had been born. This 
was a necessary precaution ; for Bajirao was on the threshold 
of manhood and the partisans of his family, although long 
inactive, were still numerous. A rising headed by the son of 
Raghunathrao at a time when the Maratha army had gone on 
field service might have had the most disastrous results. 

The war concluded, Nana Phadnavis kept the boys prisoners 
at Shivner. This was really a violation of the treaty of 
vSalbai ; but in the minister's opinion state reasons justified 
his action. Raghunathrao's partisans, however, made much 
of it and stigmatized Nana Phadnavis' conduct as faithless 
and unprincipled. At the same time they drew a glowing 
picture of Bajirao's personal attractions. The young prince 
was then nineteen years of age. His face was conspicuously 
handsome. His person was tall and pleasing and his skill as 
a swordsman, as a horseman, and as an archer was the talk of 
Poona. Nor was his mind less finely formed than his body. 
He was deeply learned in the Sanskrit tongue, and his address 
had the triple charm of grace, learning, and intelligence. In 
1795, the Peshwa Madhavrao was in his twenty -first year and 
his wives and servants had long been urging him to seize the 

1 At Anandvali the curious visitor will still be shown spots where, 
according to the local legend, Anandvali tried to build houses. Un- 
fortunately her wickedness was such that the houses all fell down 
before completion. 


power that was his by right. Indeed, Madhavrao had once or 
twice tried to assert himself, notably in the matter of 
Gashiram Kotwal. 

This man was a Kanoja Brahman and thus of the same caste 
as the depraved Kalasha. He was a man of great energy and 
ability and had thereby won the good will of Nana Phadnavis, 
who appointed him kotwal or superintendent of the Poona 
Police. Once in an independent post he took advantage of it 
to indulge in a series of abominable crimes. His practice 
was to seize strangers who came to Poona and to rob and 
murder them. Nana Phadnavis heard rumours about his 
conduct, but could not believe that a man whom he had known 
personally as a trustworthy and hardworking public servant 
could so misuse his position. One day Ghashiram Kotwal 
seized some Telangi Brahmans who had come into Poona in 
the hope of getting dakshina or alms. Why he should have 
victimized these men is hard to understand, for as religious 
beggars they could hardly have had much money. Neverthe- 
less he threw them into prison, where he slowly starved them. 
Their caste-fellows in Poona came to hear of their situation 
and informed Manaji Sindia, better known as Manaji Phakde. 
He gathered a band of men, broke open the doors of Ghashiram 
Kotwal' s dungeon and rescued the dying Brahmans. The 
mob rushed off to the Peshwa's palace, where the minister and 
the prince were closeted together. Nana Phadnavis still 
refused to believe that Ghashiram could be guilty, and would 
have taken no action ; but Madhavrao insisted that the proofs 
were overwhelming, and ordered Ghashiram to be handed 
over to the Telangis, who at once stoned him to death. 1 

Madhavrao now tried to assert himself on behalf of his 
cousins, in whom he was deeply interested, as the only- 
surviving members of his family. 

He asked Nana Phadnavis to release them, but the minister 
knew well that with the beautiful face and personal charm of 

1 Grant Duff. Moor's version is rather different. According to him 
Ghashiram or Ghyanshiram was a Gor Brahman of Aurangabad. He 
arrested thirty-four Brahman revellers one night ; but unfortunately the 
place where the police put them was so small and hot that twenty-one 
died in the night (see Parasnis' Poona in Bygone Days, p. 106). 


Bajirao went a nature as wicked and coldly cruel as that of 
his mother Anandibai. He dwelt on the crimes and treachery 
of Raghunathrao, who had murdered his nephew, Madhavrao's 
own father, and had called in the English to drive Madhavrao 
himself from the throne. Madhavrao retorted that in his 
father Raghunathrao's wickedness Bajirao had had no share, 
and that the friendship of Chimnaji Appa and Bajirao I had 
been marred neither by jealousy nor ambition. The minister 
was in despair. He had no son of his own and he loved 
Madhavrao better than anyone else in the world. It was for 
him, so he thought in his paternal affection, to stop his 
beloved ward from rushing on to his own destruction. Forget- 
ful that the years, which had produced but little change in 
himself, had turned Madhavrao from a child to a man, the 
minister treated the prince as if he had been a naughty boy. 
He had him closely watched, and confined Bajirao more strictly 
than before. His measures proved vain against the malignant 
charm of the captive prince. His jailors were Raghopant 
Godbole and Balwantrao Nagonath and the latter Bajirao soon 
won over to his cause. Balwantrao Nagonath contrived to 
convey to the Peshwa a message full of respect and attach- 
ment, adding that he was in confinement at Shivner, and 
Madhavrao under the control of his minister ; that their con- 
dition as prisoners was similar, but that their minds and 
affections were free, and that they should love each other as 
cousins should ; that, just as their ancestors had won glory in 
the past, he (Bajirao) hoped they also would together win 
glory in the future. To this message Madhavrao sent an 
affectionate reply, and a regular correspondence between the 
cousins ensued. At length its existence was betrayed to Nana 
Phadnavis. For once the minister lost his self-command. 
He upbraided the Peshwa in terms quite unsuited to their 
respective positions. Loading Balwantrao Nagonath with 
chains, he threw him into a hill fortress, and still further 
increased the severity of Bajirao's imprisonment. The 
Peshwa was deeply hurt and the wound to his feelings 
aggravated a malady, which, looking to his family history, 
must have been consumption. 

He suffered from a fever, which legend has attributed to a 
magic amulet sent him by his cousin Bajirao, but which is a 


common symptom of tuberculosis. He grew weaker and 
weaker and had frequent fainting fits, especially during the 
month of Bhadrapad or September, after the fatigues of the 
Ganpati festival of the 4th Bhadrapad. Early in Ashwin or 
October he often lay for hours unconscious ; but on the 10th 
of the bright half of Ashwin (the 22nd October, 1895), he 
roused himself for the arduous task of celebrating the great 
national festival of the Dasara. The story runs that at one 
time the sage Kautsa came to the court of King Raghu of 
Ayodhya, the great grandfather of the divine Ramchandra. 
The sage begged of the king fourteen crores of rupees, 
which he owed to his teacher Vartantu. The king, who 
at a recent sacrifice had given away all his wealth to Brahmans, 
could bestow nothing on Kautsa. He resolved to obtain the 
money by raiding Amraoti, the capital of the god Indra. 
When the news of the intended raid reached Indra, he called 
to his help the god of wealth, Kubher. The latter on the 
night of the 9th of the bright half of Ashwin, showered gold 
for some hours on a giant shami * tree in Raghu's courtyard. 
In this way Raghu was able to redeem his honour and give 
Kautsa the money that he needed. In memory of this event 
the hero Ramchandra had chosen the 10th of the bright half of 
Ashwin for the day on which to set out for the conquest of 
Lanka ; and the Rajput princes had always begun on that day 
their winter campaigns. By Madhavrao IPs time the Dasara 
festival had become the occasion of a great ceremonial display. 
On the 22nd October, 1795, the Peshwa rose early, performed 
his customary worship, reviewed his troops, received the 
ambassadors of foreign powers, distributed robes of honour 
to his feudatories and nobles, and in the evening set out on 
a gorgeously caparisoned elephant to lead a procession round 
Poona. The procession was not expected to return until 
after dark ; but the young prince was tired out. He had a 
high fever and could not keep his seat in the howdah ; indeed, 
he was only prevented from falling by Appa Balwant 
Mehendale, who tied the Peshwa to himself with a scarf. The 
procession could no longer go on ; and, instead of returning 

1 Mimosa serma. I heard this tale from the lips of an old Sanskrit 
scholar of Poona many years ago. 


by torchlight, it came back before the sun had set. The 
multitude were dismayed at the untoward end to the Dasara 
celebrations. Two days later their dismay was deepened by 
the terrible calamity that overtook the unhappy young man. 
On the 12th of the bright half of Ashwin (the 25th October, 
1795), he fell from the balcony of the Ganpati hall on to 
a fountain in the courtyard below. The fall fractured his 
thigh, disfigured his face and caused him severe internal 
injuries. No event in Maratha history has in recent times 
been more discussed than this, save perhaps the death of 
Afzul Khan. Grant Duff (vol. II, p. 254) has observed " He 
(Madhavrao) deliberately threw himself from a terrace in his 
palace ", and on the authority of this great writer English 
historians have without exception adopted the view that the 
prince committed suicide. Even some Indian writers have 
accepted it, notably Mr. Khare in his Life of Nana Phadnavis 
and Mr. Khadilkar in his powerful drama, " The death of Savai 
Madhavrao "- 1 The latter, indeed, has suggested that the 
prince committed suicide, because his cousin Bajirao's agent 
poisoned Madhavrao's mind by making him believe that both 
he and his wife Yasodabai were the offspring of Nana Phad- 
navis' criminal intrigues. But the dramatist's suggestion has 
no more historical basis than the death of Schiller's Joan of 
Arc in battle. In spite of the high authority of Grant 
Duff, there is, as it seems to me, grave reason to doubt 
the theory of suicide. The boy was very ill and could easily 
have thrown himself off the terrace in the delirium of fever. 
This is the view both of the author of the Peshwa's bakhar 
and the author of the Chitnis bakhar. It is also supported by 
the following passage from a letter of Mr. Uhtoff, the Assis- 
tant Resident, to the Governor-General, dated the 27th 
October, 1795 :— 

" Reports are various as to the cause of this melancholy 
affair ; scarce one even of the most moderate considering it 
merely accidental, but at least originating in imprudence. 
Some say that the Peshwa was sitting astride on the balus- 

1 Madhavrao II was called Savai Madhavrao or Madhavrao and a 
quarter, in the hope that he might surpass his great namesake Madhav- 
rao the Great, 


trade, a parapet wall of a terrace or upper room, and, losing 
his balance, fell outwards into the basin of a stone fountain. 
The most prevalent account is that the Peshwa, in a temporary 
fit of delirium or derangement, jumped or fell from an upper 
room or terrace into a fountain below. However strange this 
may appear, I assure you, Hon'ble Sir, that I do not trouble 
you with it on mere vague rumours, but from accounts 
through many different channels. It is even added by some 
that the Peshwa had been out of order for two or three days." 

On the other hand Tukoji Holkar, in a letter to his son 
Kashirao, discovered by Mr. Vasudev G. Apte and quoted at 
p. 222 of Mr. Burway's Life of Ahalyabai Holkar, has describ- 
ed the death of the Peshwa as due to an accident. He was 
sitting with his back leaning against the railing, so wrote 
Tukoji. His grandmother Tai Sathe and several servants 
were in the room, when the Peshwa, feeling faint, got up 
suddenly. Not seeing what he was doing, he overbalanced 
and fell over the railing upon the fountain below. Another 
letter from Jivaji Baburao, the Poona agent of Holkar to 
Kashirao, written about a fortnight after the occurrence, as- 
cribed the fall to a sudden stroke {vayucha upadrava houri). 
Although these three letters differ as to the cause of the fall, 
not one of them attributes it to suicide. It is also, as it 
seems to me, unlikely that, if the Peshwa had in his right 
mind wished deliberately to kill himself, he would have acted 
as he did. He could easily have poisoned himself with 
opium, a pleasant and painless death. To throw himself from 
the terrace was the act of a man not in his proper senses. 
The probabilities as well as the evidence of contemporary 
documents point to accident or illness rather than to wilful 
suicide as the cause of the Peshwa's death. 

The fall rendered the young prince unconscious ; but a 
sweeper, who was cleaning the courtyard, raised piercing 
shrieks, which brought a crowd of servants to the spot, and 
they at once carried the injured man inside. A surgeon was 
sent for, who dressed the wounds. In the meantime the news 
spread like wildfire and quickly reached Nana Phadnavis, who, 
in his hurry to rush to Madhavrao's help, stumbled and fell 
heavily over the doorstep— a fall which, so it was said after- 
wards, presaged his own subsequent fall from power. 


Everything that careful treatment and nursing could do was 
done for the injured prince, but he was beyond human aid. 
After three days, spent in great pain, he passed away on the 
25th October, 1795, in the arms of Baburao Phadke, to whom 
he expressed his dying wish that his cousin Bajirao should 
succeed him as Peshwa. 

War against nizam al! 18 i 


Letter from Madhavrao Narayan in the handwriting of Nana 

Phadnavis to Chhatrapati of Satara, describing the battle of 


To Shrimant Maharaj Chhatrapati, the ornament and glory of the 
Kshatriya Race, with respectful compliments from Madhavrao Narayan 
the minister, doing well under the auspices of Your Lordship.— We have 
already written in our last, that Nawab Nizam Ali Khan Bahadur has not 
been regularly and properly paying our claims of suzerainty, and that 
several of his movements and designs appear to be intended to involve 
the State in trouble. To meet him proper steps have been taken, 
prompt measures being necessary. We sent our advice to the Nawab in 
a formal manner and begged him to free his mind from prejudice, to 
pay off the outstanding dues to the State, and not to bring matters to a 
crisis. Notwithstanding our advice, his minister, without prudence or 
forethought, instigated the Nawab and with regular marches commenced 
an advance from Bidar with an army of fifty or sixty thousand cavalry 
assisted by forty thousand disciplined troops. Being thus drawn into a 
situation to meet the advances of the foe, our army made its advance and 
by regular marches encamped itself at the Sein. Even thence, we urged 
the Nawab to mend matters, with which injunction "His goodself " 
was not pleased to comply. Upon this his army crossed the Moharighat 
and made a halt at the river Khar. Observing these movements of the 
enemy, with a view to give battle, we sent to Ghodegaon a force, com- 
posed of the Huzur forces under Parashram Ramchandra and Ram- 
chandra Hari, the contingent of Vithal Ballal of Raghoji Bhosle 
Senasaheb Subha, and the army of Jivaji Ballal in the services of 
Daulatrao Sindia, together with the troops drilled and trained after 
the Western model and the forces of Krishnarao Holkar and Bapujirao 
Holkar belonging to Tukoji Holkar. These encamped themselves at a 
distance of 4 kos from the Khar. A division of the Nawab's army 
advanced to attack. Both sides exchanged fire, Thereupon the Nawab 
crossed the Khar and advanced towards Parande, on which our army 
got ready and took part in the fight. Seeing this the Nawab's army 
stopped the advance towards Parande and made a direct attack upon 
our forces. The battle began. The artillery fire continued till 3 o'clock 
in the afternoon. On this occasion the troops of the Huzur stayed the 
Nawab's onward march and greatly distinguished themselves in hand 
to hand fighting with the result that the centre of Nawab's army was 
completely routed. The Maharaja's army won the day. The number 
of the killed and wounded in men, horses and elephants, in the Nawab's 



army, is very large. Two or four of his prominent Sardars are 
amongst the killed and wounded. Guns, drums, and camels, have 
been captured. The rabble of his army have been plundered. Men 
and horses in our army received wounds and injuries. Parashram 
Ramchandra has received a slight sword wound. The troops of the 
Huzur and Messrs. Bhosle and Jivaji Ballal on behalf of Sindia and 
Holkar cut a good figure in the battle. After this, the Nawab's army 
betook itself to the fort of Kharda. We chased them immediately to 
the spot and besieged the army. Thus circumscribed, they were unable 
to hold out any longer, and so made overtures of peace. His minister 
Mondoula managed somehow to insinuate himself into our favour, and, 
leaving the Nawab's camp, joined ours. The occasion really favoured 
us for the complete destruction of the Nawab's army. But, in view of 
our long friendship with him, we decided to make a treaty with him, by 
which he agreed to give to us a jahagir of twenty lakhs, and the fort of 
Daulatabad, and to pay off all the outstanding arrears of the right of 
suzerainty. The Nawab returned to Bidar by regular marches. We 
your humble servants returned to Poona with our army, in regular 
marches. We have written this for Your Majesty's information. With 
this we respectfully subscribe, 

{Parasnis Collection.) 



Although Madhavrao's dying wish had been that his cousin 
Bajirao should succeed him, Nana Phadnavis knew well the 
venomous hatred with which the son of Anandibai regarded 
him. On the 28th October he summoned to Poona Raghuji 
Bhosle and Daulatrao Sindia, and proposed to them the adop- 
tion of a son by Yasodabai the child-widow of the late 
Peshwa. Baloba Tatya Pagnis, Sindia's minister at first 
demurred, but afterwards consented, and they drew up a deed, 
in which they recorded and approved the proposal. The 
fortunes of Bajirao now seemed desperate ; but he used his 
charm of manner on Baloba Tatya, who from the first had 
been disposed in his favour, and soon won him to his cause. 
Through Baloba Tatya' s aid and an offer of territory worth 
four lakhs a year, he secured the adhesion of Daulatrao 
Sindia. It was agreed that the latter should march on 
Shivner and release Bajirao. But the agreement was no 
sooner drawn up than it reached the ears of Nana Phadnavis. 
He sent for Parashrambhau Patwardhan, who, marching with 
the greatest expedition from Tasgaon to Poona, saw Nana 
Phadnavis. The soldier and the statesman decided to antici- 
pate Sindia by releasing Bajirao themselves. Parashram- 
bhau made a forced march to Shivner, and offered the throne 
to Bajirao. Amritrao pressed his brother to stand by his 
promise to Sindia ; but Bajirao was tempted by the immediate 
chance offered to him. He broke his agreement to Sindia ; 
and, after making Parashrambhau go to the little temple 
erected by Jijibai to Parvati under the name of Shivai Devi, 
he made him hold a cow's tail and swear by the holy Godavari 
river that he meant no treachery. Thereafter he agreed that 
he and his brother Chimnaji Appa should go back with 
Parashrambhau to Poona. Amritrao was kept in prison at 
Shivner. At Poona Nana Phadnavis waited on the prince 


and both agreed to forget past enmities. Bajirao was to be 
made Peshwa and was to appoint Nana Phadnavis as his first 

Baloba Tatya Pagnis, who had looked forward to governing 
the Maratha state through Sindia, was furiously angry at the 
conduct of Bajirao. He induced Sindia to march on Poona. 
Parashrambhau Patwardhan would have stood his ground 
and fought ; but Nana Phadnavis was better informed as to 
the discipline and training of de Boigne's battalions, and knew 
that a battle with them would merely make Sindia sole master 
of the state. Nana Phadnavis left Poona for Purandar, while 
Sindia's troops occupied Poona. Baloba Pagnis, to punish 
Bajirao for his treachery, proposed to set him aside in favour 
of his younger brother Chimnaji Appa. To make the latter's 
claims superior to those of his elder brother, he was to be 
adopted by Yasodabai. This proposal Parashrambhau ap- 
proved after consulting Nana Phadnavis. The latter, although 
he made no objection to it, at once evolved another scheme of 
his own. He would free the new Raja of Satara, Shahu II, 
and, restoring him to the throne of Shivaji, would govern as 
his first minister. The Raja, however, made difficulties, and 
Nana Phadnavis at last abandoned his own scheme and gave 
his genuine support to the proposed adoption of Chimnaji 
Appa. He received from the Raja's hands the state robes for 
Chimnaji Appa's investiture as Peshwa. These he forwarded 
to Poona ; but he did not go there himself in spite of a press- 
ing invitation from Bahiropant Mehendale, as he had grounds 
for believing that Sindia and Baloba Pagnis intended to 
imprison him if a favourable opportunity offered. Bajirao 
was unaware of the proposal to depose him in his brother 
Chimnaji Appa's favour ; and, when he was invited by Sindia 
to visit him, he unsuspectingly went to his camp and was at 
once secured. Chimnaji Appa was then taken from Bajirao' s 
camp to the city, where much against his will he was adopted 
as Yasodabai's son. On the 26th May, 1796, he was formally 
invested as Peshwa. 

Baloba Pagnis now desired above everything to secure Nana 
Phadnavis' person. But that astute statesman fully realized 
his danger. He fled from Wai up the valley of the Krishna, 
crossed the Mahableshwar plateau near Old Mahableshwar, 


and went down what is now known as the Fitzgerald ghat to 
the town of Mahad, and put a strong garrison into the great 
fort of Raygad. After his flight his lands were seized and 
his house sacked ; but his treasure he had hidden so artfully 
that to the present day its hiding-place is unknown. The 
common misfortunes of Bajirao and Nana Phadnavis brought 
them together. A certain Balaji Kunjar, a servant of Bajirao, 
acted as a go-between ; at the same time Nana Phadnavis could 
count on the support of Tukoji Holkar, while he used one 
Sakharam Ghatge of Kagal to win over Sindia, behind the 
back of Baloba Pagnis. The bait that Sakharam Ghatge held 
out was the hand of his daughter, whose beauty was famous, 
and whose birth, as a lady of the house of Kagal, was superior 
to that of Sindia himself. Nor were these the only efforts of 
Nana Phadnavis. He promised Mashir-ul-Mulk, the Nizam's 
diwan, his liberty if he won over his master ; and he promised 
to the Nizam the return of all the lands ceded after the battle 
of Kharda. In this way he secured valuable help from Nizam 
Ali. Manaji Phakde, the veteran warrior guilty of treachery 
in the Carnatic, openly adhered to the cause of Bajirao and 
raised ten thousand men. Lastly, Raghuji Bhosle promised 
his assistance. So skilfully was the plot concealed that 
Daulatrao Sindia was able on the 27th October to arrest 
Baloba Pagnis without difficulty, and Parashrambhau Pat- 
wardhan, after escaping from Poona was captured at Shivner. 
On the 4th December 1796, Bajirao, released from confine- 
ment, was once more invested by Raja Shahu with the office 
of Peshwa. The adoption of Chimnaji Appa was declared 
invalid, as being that of an uncle by his nephew's widow, 
and Nana Phadnavis was restored to his office as first 
minister. 1 

The misfortunes that had united Bajirao and Nana Phad- 
navis had no sooner disappeared, than their old hatred revived. 
Bajirao refused to sanction Nana Phadnavis' treaty with 
Mashir-ul-Mulk and in August 1797, Nana Phadnavis' faithful 
friend and supporter, Tukoji Holkar died. He left two legiti- 
mate sons, Kashirao, who was half-witted, and Malharrao, a 

1 Chitnis Bakhar, p. 67. The relationship was really that of first 
cousins once removed. 


man of some intelligence, as well as two illegitimate sons, 
Jaswantrao and Vithoji. Their quarrels gave Danlatrao 
Sindia an excuse for interference. At Kashirao's request he 
tried to arrest Malharrao Holkar, who, refusing to surrender, 
was killed. His infant son Khanderao was taken prisoner. 
Jaswantrao Holkar fled to Nagpur and Vithoji Holkar to 
Kolhapur. Sindia, as champion of Kashirao and guardian of 
Khanderao, became for the time being the master of the 
Holkar domain. In the break-up of the party attached to 
Nana Phadnavis' fortunes, Bajirao saw the opportunity of 
revenge. In his plot against his minister, Sindia, Govindrao 
Kale, Amritrao the Peshwa's adopted brother and Sakharam 
Ghatge were Bajirao's accomplices. Nana Phadnavis was 
induced by the safe conduct of Michael Filoze, a Neapolitan 
muleteer who had risen to the command of eight infantry 
battalions, to visit Sindia's camp. There he was at once 
seized by Sakharam Ghatge together with his retinue. Ghatge 
took the opportunity to plunder the houses of Nana Phadnavis' 
adherents, and Bajirao imprisoned his friends, of whom Baburao 
Phadke and Appa Balwant Mehendale were the principal. 
Nana Phadnavis was confined at Ahmadnagar. 

Bajirao had wreaked his vengeance on his enemy, but in 
doing so had made Daulatrao Sindia all-powerful. To secure 
Sindia's help he had promised him twenty million rupees ; 
but he was quite unable to make good his promise. Sindia, 
who could not pay his troops, would take no denial ; so the 
prince and his feudatory deputed Sakharam Ghatge to extort 
it from the citizens of Poona. Sakharam Ghatge's informa- 
tion was supplemented by that of Balaji Kunjar, and for several 
days Poona suffered at the will of its own prince horrors 
similar to those suffered by Delhi at the hands of Nadir 
Shah. Every one suspected of wealth, no matter what his 
politics, was tortured until he disgorged it. Amritrao, in 
whose nature cruelty found no place, remonstrated with 
Bajirao and begged him to seize Sindia, on whom Bajirao 
threw all the blame. It was impossible to do so openly, so it 
was proposed to invite him to a darbar, and then detain him, 
thus'paying him out for his own treachery to Bajirao. The 
scheme progressed favourably up to a certain point and 
would have wholly succeeded but for Bajirao's cowardice. 


Sindia accepted the invitation to the darbar. When he 
attended it, the Peshwa publicly upbraided him for the 
conduct of Sakharam Ghatge, and ordered him to withdraw his 
troops to Jamgaon. Sindia courteously answered that he 
would do so as soon as the Peshwa paid him his debts. Amrit- 
rao at this point wished to signal to Aba Kale, the commander 
of one of the Peshwa' s household regiments, to arrest Sindia ; 
but, although there would have been no difficulty in making 
the arrest, Bajirao's heart failed him and he let Sindia go 

While these dissensions prevailed in Poona, the Raja 
Shahu resolved to make a bid to recover the empire of the 
Bhosles. Indeed, Bajirao, when struggling against Nana 
Phadnavis, had promised to restore the Raja to the position 
of Shahu I. This promise Bajirao had left unfulfilled and the 
Raja now called on him to keep his word. At the same time 
he collected troops and successfully attacked Madhavrao 
Raste, who had been sent to Satara with such forces as the 
Peshwa could spare from Poona. At this point Parashram- 
bhau Patwardhan, who was in confinement at Wai, offered to 
reduce the Raja to submission. Bajirao gladly accepted his 
offer, and Parashrambhau Patwardhan, after raising a large 
body of troops and joining Raste, successfully forded the 
Yenna, then in high flood, and surprised the Raja's camp. 
The Raja's bands were dispersed ; his brother Chatursing 
escaped to Kolhapur, and the Raja took refuge in Satara fort. 
It was not provisioned, so after a short investment it had to 
surrender. The Raja was reduced to his former subordinate 
place, and Parashrambhau was received back into favour on 
a promise to pay ten lakhs of rupees. 

Sindia, whom we left all-powerful in the Maratha state, 
was early in 1798 brought to the brink of ruin by a quarrel 
with the widows of Madhavrao Sindia. Daulatrao had pro- 
mised to look after Madhavrao' s four widows and he, no doubt, 
would have done so as befitted their position, but for his vast 
military expenditure. As it was, he cut down the ladies' 
allowances to the lowest point, and they retaliated by charging 
him with an incestuous intrigue with Bhagirthabai, the 
youngest and comeliest of the four. Sindia's next move 
was to try treacherously to immure them in Ahmadnagar 


fort ; but the ladies, informed of his intention, succeeded in 
escaping to the camp of Amritrao, who happened to be march- 
ing to Junnar. They sought and obtained his protection. 
Sakharam Ghatge, after openly attacking Amritrao's camp 
without success, surprised and plundered it. This was a 
direct insult to the Peshwa, who at once signed with Nizam 
Ali a defensive and offensive alliance for Sindia's overthrow. 
Sindia had but one resource left, namely to release Nana 
Phadnavis. Not long afterwards Nizam Ali repudiated his 
alliance with Bajirao and once more Sindia was in the 
ascendant. Bajirao reconciled himself with Sindia and Nana 
Phadnavis, while Sindia, weary of Sakharam Ghatge's cruelty, 
put him under arrest. On the 15th October 1798, Nana 
Phadnavis assumed again the office of first minister, but he 
never regained his confidence in Bajirao. In the meantime 
events of the highest importance were happening in the south 
of India. 

Ever since the disastrous treaty of February 1792, Tipu 
Sultan had thirsted for revenge against the English. To 
attain his vengeance he sought allies. In 1795, he induced 
Ali Jah, a son of Nizam Ali, to rebel against his father, hoping 
that in this way he might have the resources of the Nizam's 
dominions on his side instead of against him ; but the rebel- 
lion was promptly suppressed by M. Raymond and his French 
contingent. In 1796, Tipu sent an embassy to the court of 
Zaman Shah, ruler of Afghanistan, but without success. In 
1797, he became, as a desperate measure, a French citizen, and 
sent an embassy to Mauritius, asking the Governor for forty 
thousand troops, of whom ten thousand should be pure French 
and the rest negroes commanded by French officers. The 
Governor of Mauritius was quite unable to furnish such a 
force, but a hundred French citizens volunteered for the 
Sultan's service. The despatch of these embassies was 
perfectly well known to the English Governor-General, Lord 
Mornington, afterwards the Marquess of Wellesley, and he 
determined to dispel the danger of further trouble in the south, 
by destroying Tipu's power once and for all. He declared 
war on the Sultan, and called on the Nizam and the Peshwa, 
as his allies, to send contingents. Bajirao was doubtful what 
policy to pursue and, waiting on events, did nothing. The 


vv r^:^^//^^-/-: 

I To face page 288,~\ 


Nizam sent some sixteen thousand men, which raised the 
number of the invading army to thirty-seven thousand men. 
Tipu's army was nearly fifty thousand strong, but was far 
inferior in quality and in armament. He was outgeneralled, 
beaten in the field and on the 2nd May 1799, killed at the 
storming of Seringapatam. A large treasure fell into the 
hands of the victors and the state was at their mercy. Its 
revenues were estimated at three million kantharai pagodas 
or nine million rupees. It was resolved to partition the 
conquered country as follows : The British Government and 
the Nizam were each to receive lands yielding annually 
5,37,000 pagodas or 16,11,000 rupees. To the Peshwa were to 
be given lands worth annually 2,64,000 pagodas or 7,92,000 
rupees. The remainder, after the deduction of a certain 
portion for the maintenance of the family of Haidar Ali, was 
formed into a kingdom for the infant son of Chamraj 1 the 
last Hindu king of Mysore, who had died in 1796. The widow 
of Chamraj gratefully accepted the offered kingdom, ceded the 
island of Seringapatam to the English, and bound herself and 
her son's descendants to consider themselves as under English 
protection, " while the sun and moon continued ". 

The news of the death of Tipu and the conquest of Mysore 
fell like a thunderbolt on the court of Bajirao. The Nizam 
had in 1798 dismissed his French officers and converted his 
French contingent into an English subsidiary force of six 
battalions. He now ceded all the lands apportioned to him 
from Mysore to pay for the upkeep of the former six batta- 
lions and of two fresh regiments. The Nizam was thus 
completely under English influence. Tipu, on whom Bajirao 
had counted as a possible ally if he quarrelled with his 
English friends, was dead ; and the Hindu state that had 
arisen on the ruins of his government was bound to the 
English by the strongest ties of gratitude. Even the territory 
that had been set aside for the Peshwa never became his. 
After protracted negotiations, during which the English and the 
Marathas successively rejected each other's proposals, it was 
divided between the English and the Nizam ; but the Nizam 
gave back his share in it to the English as a further payment 

1 Bowring's Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan, p. 202. 


towards the upkeep of the subsidiary force. It was thus clear 
to every far-sighted observer that the English, at once lords 
of the rich lands of Bengal and in control of the whole vast 
country from the Vindhyas to Rameshwaram, would in no 
long time be masters of the whole of India. 




Affairs in the Maratha state were rapidly drifting from bad 
to worse. The quarrelsome widows of Madhavrao Sindia had 
left Amritrao's camp for Kolhapur, where the Raja espoused 
their cause. Lakwa Dada, a Shenvi by caste, and a skilful 
general in Sindia's service, had been confined by Daulatrao 
and had made his escape. He was now ravaging Sindia's 
provinces in Central India. Jaswantrao Holkar had left 
Nagpur, and, collecting a band of freebooters, was sweeping 
through Malwa. De Boigne had returned to France in 1796, 
and his successor, M. Perron was quite unable to drive away 
the invaders. The Raja of Kolhapur, as the protector of the 
turbulent widows, was at open war with the Peshwa. Chatur- 
sing, brother of the Raja of Satara, successively defeated the 
Pratinidhi and Parashrambhau Patwardhan, mortally wounding 
the latter in a fight at Pathankudi in the Chikodi taluka ; 
although the legend that the Raja of Kolhapur cut Parash- 
rambhau to pieces with his own sword seems to be quite 
unfounded. To crown the misfortunes of the Maratha state, 
Nana Phadnavis died on the 13th March 1800. 

Ever since his confinement at Ahmadnagar, his health had 
been gradually failing. For some months before his death, 
he had hardly left his house ; nevertheless his dauntless spirit 
enabled him still to attend to the needs of the administration. 
In January 1800, he began to suffer from intermittent attacks 
of fever. A fortnight before his death the Peshwa himself 
came to see him, but death was already stamped on the 
minister's countenance, and at midnight on the 13th March 
1800 he died amid the widespread grief of the Maratha 
people. "With him" to use the words of Colonel Palmer, 
" departed all the wisdom and moderation of the Maratha 


It cannot be denied that Nana Phadnavis was a great man, 
judged by almost any standard. It has been said that he 
lacked physical courage ; but such a charge is easily brought 
and with difficulty refuted. It rests chiefly on Nana Phadna- 
vis' refusal to join Parashrambhau Patwardhan in an attack 
on Sindia's army. But such an attack would have ended in 
certain defeat and to court certain defeat is not true valour. 
The minister's political courage and foresight have rarely 
been surpassed, and his life was spent in guarding the throne 
of his young master. By the tragic irony of fate, he overshot 
his mark and by excessive care brought about indirectly the 
death of the young prince, whom he loved like his own son. 
In private life Nana Phadnavis was truthful and kindly, 
frugal and generous. His time was regulated with the 
utmost care, and the amount of business, both public and 
private, transacted by him far surpassed the limits of ordinary 
human capacity. Like Metternich, Nana Phadnavis was 
fond of the fair sex and in the course of his life he was married 
no less than nine times. On his death he left two widows, 
Bagabai and Jiubai ; the former was fourteen years old and the 
latter only nine. He left no children, although his first wife 
had borne him a son and his third and his sixth wife had each 
borne him a daughter ; but his children all died young. 
Bagabai died fourteen days after her husband's death. Thus 
all that survived of Nana Phadnavis' family was the little 
Jiubai. The funeral ceremonies of the great minister were 
marred by an untoward incident. The pay of his Arab 
guards was in arrears, so they manned the walls of his house 
and refused to allow anyone to enter or leave it. The Peshwa 
paid them off and discharged them, and then attached Nana 
Phadnavis' estates, forcing Jiubai to live in a room in the 
Shanwar palace. There she remained until Jaswantrao 
Holkar released her and sent her to Lohgad fort, which 
Dhondu Ballal Nitsure, an officer of Nana Phadnavis, con- 
tinued, in defiance of Bajirao, to hold in the interests of his 
dead master. Two years later the English made her 
surrender Lohgad, but forced Bajirao to settle on her a yearly 
pension of twelve thousand rupees. She lived for sixteen 
years under English protection at Panvel. On the fall of 
Bajirao, Mountstuart Elphinstone invited her to Poona and 


gave her besides her pension the townships of Menvali and 
Belbag. In 1827, she adopted the youngest son of Ramkrishna 
Gangadar Bhanu and gave him on adoption the name of 
Madhavrao. On the death of Jiubai her allowance was 
stopped, but the townships of Menvali and Belbag were con- 
tinued by the English to Madhavrao and his descendants. 

Both Sindia and Bajirao wished to seize the treasures of the 
deceased Nana Phadnavis. These, however, were never dis- 
covered. Mortified at his failure, Bajirao imprisoned Nana 
Phadnavis' friends and resolved to plunder the Patwardhans. 
In this plan the Raja of Kolhapur readily joined, and the 
Patwardhan estate was soon stripped of everything worth 
carrying away, and their houses were all burnt. But the death 
of Nana Phadnavis, so far from freeing Bajirao from tutelage, 
only delivered him again into the bondage of Daulatrao 
Sindia. The Peshwa turned his attention to Jaswantrao 
Holkar. The latter, a man of great capacity, had contrived 
by a series of successes to raise a considerable army. The 
illegitimate son of Tukoji Holkar, he affected to be acting 
solely on behalf of Khanderao Holkar, his legitimate nephew 
confined in Poona. He invaded at Bajirao' s suggestion 
Sindia's dominions, defeated and then bought over du Drenec 
and his disciplined regiments. Sindia was unwilling to leave 
Poona to meet this formidable adversary, for to do so was to 
give up his favoured position at the Poona court. But at 
last the situation grew so serious that Sindia, after extracting 
forty-seven lakhs of rupees from the reluctant Bajirao, marched 
northward to meet Jaswantrao. The latter won a brilliant 
victory near Ujjein, but was checked near Burhanpur and 
severely defeated near Indore. 

Rid for the time being of Sindia, Bajirao indulged to the 
full in the pleasures of revenge. His victims were the 
families who had opposed his father. The most prominent 
were the Rastes. Madhavrao Raste was treacherously seized 
and imprisoned in Raygad ; others less important were killed 
or thrown into dungeons. Vithoji Holkar, the other illegiti- 
mate son of Tukoji Holkar, and a friend of Nana Phadnavis, 
was captured near Bhamburda at the head of a body of horse. 
He was tied to the foot of an elephant and dragged about the 
streets of Poona until he died, while Bajirao gloated over his 


sufferings. 1 This act was not only a crime but an error. 
Jaswantrao, who had been deeply attached to Vithoji, aband- 
oned his designs against Sindia and, vowing revenge, marched 
straight on Poona. Sindia sent Sadashivrao Bhaskar after 
him ; but Jaswantrao Holkar skilfully evaded Sindia's 
troops and on the 23rd October 1802, encamped between 
Loni and Hadapsar, a few miles to the north-east of Poona. 
Sadashivrao effected a junction with such troops as the Peshwa 
could muster, and on the 25th October a bloody battle was 
fought, in which Jaswantrao Holkar was completely victor- 
ious. Sindia's battalions disappointed their master, save four 
who had been once commanded by de Boigne. The spirit of 
that great soldier still animated them, and, just as they would 
have done had he been present in person, they stood their 
ground to the last, until cut to pieces by furious charges of 
cavalry led by Jaswantrao Holkar in person. 

The Peshwa, who had taken no part in the battle, fled to 
Sinhgad on hearing its result, and thence to Raygad, and 
finally to Mahad, whence he wrote to the English imploring 
their protection. When it was granted, he embarked on an 
English ship at Rewadanda and sailed to Bassein, which he 
reached on the 6th December. The flight of the Peshwa 
left the government of the Maratha state in the hands of 
Jaswantrao Holkar. Wise enough to know that a bastard of 
the house of Holkar could never hope to rule it in permanency, 
he sent for the Peshwa's adopted brother Amritrao and had 
him appointed Peshwa. Having settled the form of govern- 
ment, he devoted himself to the plunder of Poona. In this he 
shewed such zeal that the inhabitants looked back almost with 
regret to the days of Sakharam Ghatge. 

In the meantime Bajirao had resigned his independence to 
the English by a document known as the treaty of Bassein. 2 
On the 25th March 1803, the English, led by the greatest 
general of the age, Arthur Wellesley, assembled ten thousand 
strong on the northern frontier of Madras. To Wellesley's 

1 Vithoji's widow committed sati on the bank of the Mulla river. A 
temple has been erected in her honour and has given her name to 
Holkar's bridge. 

2 See Appendix A. 


standard flocked the troops of several families who adhered 
to Bajirao's cause, notably the Patwardhans, Bapu Ganesh 
Gokhale, Appa Desai Nipanikar, the Patankars and Vinchurkar 
the grandson of Vithal Shivdev. On the 20th April, 1803, 
General Wellesley entered Poona. It had been previously 
evacuated by Amritrao, to whom several of the important 
Maratha chiefs rallied. Sindia, who had fought for the 
Peshwa, deserted him now that he had sought the help of the 
English, and so, too, did Raghuji Bhosle. Jaswantrao Holkar, 
strangely enough, held aloof. He hated both the Peshwa and 
Sindia too much to join either of them. 

The English had profited enormously by the conquest of 
Bengal and Mysore. Their Governor-General, Lord Morning- 
ton, had abilities hardly less inferior to those of his brother 
Arthur. The two brothers seized the opportunity and devoted 
the whole of their vast resources to make the English power 
paramount. The English field force was raised to no less 
than fifty thousand men, disciplined and led by English 
officers. The forces of Sindia and of Raghuji Bhosle were 
double that number, but only thirty thousand of them were 
regular infantry. The Nizam took no part in the struggle. 
Ill for a long time, he died on the 6th August, 1803, three 
days after the English had declared war on the Maratha con- 
federacy ; and his son Mirza Sikandar Jah was too busy making 
good his claims to the throne to take any part in the impend- 
ing hostilities. 

On the 10th August 1803, General Wellesley opened the 
campaign by attacking the great fort of Ahmadnagar, and 
obtained its surrender on the 12th. On the 21st September, 
1803, General Wellesley with a force of eight thousand men, of 
whom four thousand, five hundred were English, came up 
near the village of Assaye with the forces of Sindia and 
Raghuji Bhosle, fifty thousand strong. Although General 
Wellesley was expecting the arrival of Colonel Stevenson 
with seven thousand men, he, with the inspiration of a great 
captain, decided to attack the enemy in the face of tenfold 
odds. The Maratha troops were led by inexperienced com- 
manders, who fled from the field very soon after the battle 
had joined. The cavalry followed the example of the com- 
manders ; but eight of de Boigne's old battalions and the 


Maratha artillery fought well. The battle of Assaye ended in 
a complete victory for the English, who took ninety-eight 
guns and a large number of prisoners. The battle of Assaye 
was followed by the capture of Burhanpur and Asirgad, one 
of the strongest fortresses in India. Raghuji Bhosle would 
not accept the defeat of Assaye as conclusive, and encamped 
at Argaon together with a body of Sindia's cavalry, in the 
Akola district of Berar. On the 29th November 1803, 
General Wellesley attacked Raghuji Bhosle's army and inflic- 
ted on it a defeat even more severe than Assaye. The fortress 
of Gavalgad in the Satpuras surrendered, and news reached 
Raghuji Bhosle that he had lost all his possessions in Bengal, 
which had been conquered by Colonel Harcourt between the 
14th September and the 14th of October. These disasters 
convinced Raghuji Bhosle of the hopelessness of continuing 
the struggle ; and on the 17th December 1803 he signed 
the treaty of Devgaon. By it he ceded the province of Cut- 
tack in Bengal and all his territories and revenues to the west 
of the river Wardha. He renounced all claims of chauth and 
gha&dana on the Nizam. He bound himself to engage no 
subject of any European or American country at war with the 
British, without the British consent. 

In the meantime Sindia, too, had been suffering other 
disasters elsewhere. On the 29th August 1803, a detach- 
ment under Colonel Woodington stormed Broach, and on the 
17th September 1803 took Champanir and the tremendous 
fortress of Pavangad. About the same time General Lake 
won several important successes in Hindustan. On the 4th 
September, he stormed with ten thousand men the fortress of 
Aligarh, an event that led to the desertion of General Perron 
and several other French officers in Sindia's service. The 
English army then marched on Delhi, where they came up 
with Sindia's army under an old officer of de Boigne called 
Bourquin, who had been in 'turn a seaman, a cook, a 
manufacturer of fireworks, and a soldier. The Maratha army 
was totally defeated. The French officers surrendered, and 
among the spoils of victory were the town of Delhi, the 
person of the poor, blind, old emperor Shah Alam, and the 
town and fortress of Agra with its treasure, arsenal and 162 
cannon. There still remained of Sindia's armies a considerable 


fragment under du Drenec. General Lake sought him out ; 
and on the 1st November, 1803, was fought the decisive battle 
of Laswari, wherein the remainder of Sindia's disciplined 
battalions were destroyed. Bandelkhand, too, had been 
invaded by Colonel Powell and completely reduced by the 13th 
October. This succession of calamities convinced Daulatrao 
Sindia that in submission lay his only hope. On the 30th 
December 1803, he also abandoned the war. By the treaty 
of Surji Anjangaon he ceded his lands between the Jamna and 
the Ganges, and nearly all his territories in Rajputana. He 
surrendered the fortresses of Ahmadnagar and Broach, his 
claims for chauth and g/iasdana on the emperor and the Nizam, 
and all his money demands on the Peshwa and the Gaikvad. 
This treaty was supplemented by the further treaty of 
Burhanpur, by which Sindia became a subordinate ally of the 
British (27th February 1804). 

Jaswantrao Holkar had remained neutral, not through any 
kindly feelings for the combatants, all of whom he disliked, 
but in the hope of making the best possible bargain by 
joining one side or the other at the most critical moment. 
His plans were confounded by the rapid successes of the 
English and, so far from making a profitable bargain, he 
began to fear for the safety of his own possessions. Never- 
theless, had he maintained his neutrality, he would have 
survived the crisis. Unfortunately he lost his head : he 
executed three Englishmen in his service, Vickers, Dodd and 
Ryan, because they were unwilling to fight against their own 
countrymen. At last his conduct and his demands became so 
outrageous that the Governor-General ordered Generals 
Wellesley and Lake to attack him. It must be admitted that, 
if his statesmanship was short-sighted, his generalship was of 
a high order. Colonel Monson, who commanded five batta- 
lions of sepoys and three thousand irregular horse, had been 
detached to keep Jaswantrao in check, while General Lake in 
alliance with Daulatrao Sindia conquered his possessions in 
Guzarat. Colonel Monson ill-advisedly exceeded his instruc- 
tions and entered Holkar's territories in Central India by the 
Mukund Dara pass in Rajputana, some thirty miles to the 
south of Kotah. Having thus, to use the words of Arthur 
Wellesley, advanced without reason, he retreated in the same 


manner. On the 7th July, he found that he had only two 
days' supplies left, and he started to go back the way he came. 
On the 8th July, he sent ahead his baggage and stores, and 
followed with his infantry, leaving the irregular horse as a 
rearguard. When the infantry were ten miles distant Jaswant- 
rao Holkar suddenly fell on the irregular horse and destroyed 
them. On the 11th July, Colonel Monson's infantry were 
vigorously attacked in ihe Mukund Dara pass. Monson re- 
pulsed the attack and struggled on as far as Kotah. There 
he was refused admittance, but managed to struggle on to 
Kushalgarh, which he reached on the 25th August. There 
he rested for a night, and eventually succeeded in fighting his 
way to Agra on the 31st August, but with the loss of his 
guns, his supplies and his baggage. General Lake with the 
promptitude of a skilful general sent reinforcements to Agra 
without delay. Jaswantrao Holkar, unable to take Agra, 
tried to seize the person of the emperor. Failing in this, 
he attempted to raid on a grand scale the territories of the 
East India Company. He was followed, pursued and forced 
to fight at Dig, where he was severely defeated. Some of 
his troops took refuge in Bharatpur, where they successfully 
resisted Lake's attempt to storm it. 

The Jat Raja, however, lost heart and on the 10th April 
he sued for peace. Jaswantrao Holkar then, after an ineffec- 
tual effort to win Sindia to his cause, marched in September 
1805 to the Sikh country, hoping to rouse them against the 
English. The Sikhs gave him neither men nor supplies, and 
Lord Lake with five regiments of cavalry and four battalions 
of infantry set out after him in full pursuit. On the banks of 
the Bias Jaswantrao Holkar sued for peace and on the 
14th December 1805 he was given very favourable terms. 
Nevertheless by binding himself never to engage Europeans 
in his service without the Company's leave, he, too, became a 
subordinate ally of the English. Jaswantrao' s end is one that 
excites compassion. His defeats preyed upon his mind, and 
shortly after the signature of the treaty symptoms of insanity 
showed themselves. He murdered his nephew Khanderao 
and his brother Kashirao, and on the 20th October 1811 
died a raving lunatic. He was a bold, fearless man with no 
small capacity as a general. He could endure severe fatigue 


and great pain. In the hour of success his energy was bound- 
less, and he bore adversity with no little fortitude. On his 
death Malharrao Holkar, a boy four years old, and the son of 
Jaswantrao by a concubine, was adopted by Tulsibai, the 
deceased's favourite mistress ; and in the child's name Amir 
Khan, a leader of Pindharis or irregulars, and ancestor of the 
present chief of Tonk, carried on the Holkar Government. 



Treaty with the Peshwa commonly called the Treaty of 
Bassein, 31st December, 1802. 

Treaty of perpetual and general defensive alliance between the 
Hon'ble English East India Company and His Highness the Peshwa 
Bajirav Raghunathrav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur, his children, heirs, 
and successors, settled by Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Close, Resident at 
the Court of His Highness, by virtue of the powers delegated to him 
by His Excellency the Most Noble Richard Marquess Wellesley, Knight 
of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick, one of His Britannic 
Majesty's Most Hon'ble Privy Council, Governor-General in Council, 
appointed by the Hon'ble Court of Directors of the said Hon'ble 
Company, to direct and control all their affairs in the East Indies. 

Whereas, by the blessing of God, the relations of peace and friend- 
ship have uninterruptedly subsisted, for a length of time, between the 
Hon'ble English East India Company and His Highness Rav Pandit 
Pradhan Bahadur, and have been confirmed at different periods by 
treaties of amity and union, the powers aforesaid, adverting to the 
complexion of the times, have determined, with a view to the preserva- 
tion of peace and tranquillity, to enter into a general defensive alliance, 
for the complete and reciprocal protection of their respective territories, 
together with those of their several allies and dependants, against the 
unprovoked aggressions or unjust encroachments of all or any enemies 

Article: I 
The peace, union, and friendship, so long subsisting between the 
two states, shall be promoted and increased by this treaty and shall be 
perpetual. The friends and enemies of either shall be the friends and 
enemies of both ; and the contracting parties agree that all the former 
treaties and agreements between the two states, now in force and not 
contrary to the tenor of this engagement, shall be confirmed by it. 

Article II 
If any power or state whatever shall commit any act of unprovoked 
hostility or aggression against either of the contracting parties, or 
against their respective dependants or allies, and after due representa- 
tion shall refuse to enter into amicable explanation, or shall deny the 
just satisfaction or indemnity which the contracting parties shall have 
required, then the contracting parties will proceed to concert and 
prosecute such further measures as the case shall appear to demand. 


For the more distinct explanation of the true intent and effect of this 
agreement, the Governor-General in Council, on behalf of the Hon'ble 
Company, hereby declares that the British Government will never 
permit any power or state whatever to commit with impunity any act of 
unprovoked hostility or aggression against the rights and territories of 
His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur, but will at all times 
maintain and defend the same in the same manner as the rights and 
territories of the Hon'ble Company are now maintained and defended. 

Article III 
With a view to fulfil this treaty of general defence and protection, His 
Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur agrees to receive, and the 
Hon'ble East India Company to furnish, a permanent subsidiary force 
of not less than six thousand regular Native Infantry, with the usual 
proportion of field-pieces and European artillerymen attached, and with 
the proper equipment of warlike stores and ammunition, which force 
is to be accordingly stationed, in perpetuity, in His said Highness's 

Article IV 

For the regular payment of the whole expense of the said subsidiary 
force, His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur hereby assigns and 
cedes, in perpetuity, ro the Hon'ble East India Company, all the 
territories detailed in the schedule annexed to this treaty. 

Article V 

As it may be found that certain of the territories ceded by the 
foregoing article to the Hon'ble Company may be inconvenient from 
their situation, His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur, for the 
purpose of rendering the boundary line of the Hon'ble Company's 
possession a good and well-defended one, agrees that such exchanges of 
talukas or lands shall be made thereafter, on terms of a fair valuation 
of their respective revenues, as the completion of the said purpose may 
require. And it is agreed and covenanted that the territories to be 
assigned and ceded to the Hon'ble Company by the 4th Article, or in 
consequence of the exchange stipulated eventually in this article, shall be 
subject to the exclusive management and authority of the said Company 
and of their officers. 

Article VI 

Notwithstanding the total annual expense of the subsidiary force is 
estimated at twenty-five lakhs of rupees, His said Highness hath agreed 
to cede, by Article IV, lands estimated to yield annually the sum of 
twenty-six lakhs of rupees, the additional lakh being intended to meet 
possible deficiencies in the revenues of the said lands, and save the 
Hon'ble Company from loss. 

Article VII 
After the conclusion of this treaty, and as soon as the British Resident 
shall signify to His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur, that the 


Hon'ble Company's officers are prepared to take charge of the districts 
ceded by Article IV, His Highness will immediately issue the necces- 
sary parwanas or orders to his officers, to deliver over charge of the 
same to the officers of the Hon'ble Company. And it is hereby agreed 
and stipulated, that all collections made by His Highness's officers 
subsequently to the date of this treaty, and before the officers of the 
Hon'ble Company shall have taken charge of the said districts, shall 
be carried to the credit of the Hon'ble Company, and all claims to 
balances from the said districts, referring to periods antecedent to 
the conclusion of this treaty, shall be considered as null and void. 

Article: VIII 

All forts situated within the districts to be ceded as aforesaid shall be 
delivered to the officers of the Hon'ble Company with the said districts ; 
and His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur engages that the said 
forts shall be delivered to the Hon'ble Company without being injured 
or damaged, and with their equipment of ordnance, stores and 

Article IX 

Grain and all other articles of consumption and provisions, and all 
sorts of materials for wearing apparel, together with the necessary 
numbers of cattle, horses and camels, required for the use of the 
subsidiary force, shall be entirely exempted from duties ; and the 
commanding officer and officers of the said subsidiary force shall be 
treated in all respects in a manner suitable to the dignity and greatness 
of both states. The subsidiary force will at all times be ready to 
execute services of importance, such as the protection of the person of 
His Highness, his heirs and successors, the overawing and chastise- 
ment of rebels or exciters of disturbance in His Highness's dominions, 
and the due correction of his subjects or dependants who may withhold 
the payment of the Sarkar's just claims ; but it is not to be employed 
on trifling occasions, nor like Sibandi to be stationed in the country to 
collect the revenues, nor against any of the principal branches of the 
Maratha Empire, nor in levying contributions from Maratha dependants 
in the manner of Mulukgiri (revenue collection by armed force). 

Article X 

Whereas much inconvenience has arisen from certain claims and 
demands of the Maratha state affecting the city of Surat, it is agreed 
that a just calculation shall be made of the value of the said claims by 
His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur and the Government of 
Bombay ; and in consequence of the intimate friendship now established 
between the contracting parties, His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan 
Bahadur agrees, for himself, his heirs and successors, to relinquish, for 
ever, all the rights, claims and privileges of the Maratha state affecting 
the said city of Surat, and all collections on that account shall cease and 
determine from the day on which this treaty shall be concluded ; in con- 
sideration of which act of friendship the Hon'ble East India Company 


agrees that a piece of land, yielding a sum equal to the estimated 
value of the said claims of the Maratha state, shall be deducted from 
the districts ceded by Article IV ; and on the same principle, and from 
similar considerations, His Highness further agrees, that the amount of 
the collections made for the Poona state, under the title of Nagabandi, 
in the parganas of Chorrasi and Chickli, shall be ascertained by 
an average taken from the receipts for a certain number of years, or by 
such other mode of calculation as may be determined on, and His said 
Highness doth further agree, for himself, his heirs and successors, to 
relinquish, for ever, the Nagabandi collections aforesaid, and they shall 
accordingly cease from the conclusion of this treaty. And it is agreed 
and stipulated, that a piece of land, yielding a sum equal to the amount 
of the said Nagabandi collections, shall be deducted from the districts 
ceded by Article IV, in the same manner as stipulated in regard to the 
Chauth of Surat. 

Article XI 

Whereas it has been usual for His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan 
Bahadur to enlist and retain in his service Europeans of different 
countries, His said Highness hereby agrees and stipulates, that in the 
event of war breaking out between the English and any European 
nation, and of discovery being made that any European or Europeans 
in his service, belonging to such nation at war with the English, shall 
have meditated injury towards the English, or have entered into 
intrigues hostile to their interest, such European or Europeans, so 
offending, shall be discharged by His said Highness and not suffered to 
reside in his dominions. 

Article XII 

Inasmuch as, by the present treaty, the contracting parties are bound 
in a general defensive alliance, for mutual defence and protection 
against all enemies, His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur con- 
sequently engages never to commit any act of personal hostility and 
aggression against His Highness the Navab Asoph Jah Bahadur, or any 
of the Hon' ble Company's allies or dependants, or against any of the 
principal branches of the Maratha Empire, or against any power 
whatever, and in the event of differences arising, whatever adjust- 
ment the Company's Government, weighing matters in the scale of 
truth and justice, may determine, shall meet with full approbation 
and acquiescence. 

Article XIII 

And whereas certain differences, referring past transactions, are 
known to subsist between the Sarkar of His Highness Rav Pandit 
Pradhan Bahadur and the .Sarkar of His Highness the Navab Asoph 
Jah Bahadur, and whereas an amicable adjustment of those differences 
must be highly desirable for the welfare and benefit of both the said 
Sarkars, His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur, with a view to the 
above end, agrees and accordingly binds himself, his heirs and successors, 


to fulfil and conform to the stipulation of the treaty of Mahad ; 
and His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur further agrees, that on 
the basis of the fulfilment of the said treaty of Mahad, and of the claims 
of His Highness the Nawab Asoph Jah Bahadur to be totally exempted 
from the payment of Chauth, the Hon'ble Company's Government shall 
be entitled to arbitrate and determine all such points, as may be in doubt 
or difference between the Sarkars of their Highnesses aforementioned ; 
and His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur further agrees, that in 
the event of any differences arising between his Government and that of 
His Highness the Navab Asoph Jah Bahadur, at any future period, the 
particulars of such differences shall be communicated to the Hon'ble 
East India Company, before any act of hostility shall be committed on 
either side, and the said Hon'ble Company, interposing their mediation, 
in a way suitable to rectitude, friendship and union, and mindful of 
justice and established usage, shall apply themselves to the adjustment 
of all such differences, conformable to propriety and truth, and shall 
bring the parties to a right understanding. And it is further agreed, 
that whatever adjustment of any such differences the Company's 
Government, weighing things in the scale of truth and justice, shall 
determine, that determination shall, without hesitation or objection, 
meet with the full approbation and acquiescence of both parties. It is 
however agreed, that this stipulation shall not prevent any amicable 
negotiation which the Hon'ble Company and the Courts of Poona and 
Hyderabad, respectively, may be desirous of opening, provided no such 
negotiation shall be carried on between any of the three parties without 
full communication thereof to each other. 

Article XIV 

Whereas a treaty of friendship and alliance has been concluded 
between the Hon'ble Company and the Raja Anandrav Gaikawar 
Bahadur, and whereas the said treaty was meditated and executed, 
without any intention that it should infringe any of the just rights or 
claims of His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur affecting the 
Sarkars of the said Raja, His said Highness adverting thereto, and also 
to the intimate alliance now established between the contracting parties, 
doth hereby formally acknowledge the existence of the said treaty 
between the Hon'ble Company and Raja Anandrav Gaikawar Bahadur, 
and inasmuch as, by reason of certain unfinished transactions, the 
conclusion of which has been suspended from time to time, various 
demands and papers of accounts are found to subsist between the 
Government of His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur and the 
Sarkar of the Raja aforementioned, His said Highness, placing full 
reliance on the impartiality, truth, and justice of the British Govern- 
ment, doth hereby agree that the said Government shall examine into 
and finally adjust the said demands and papers of accounts, and His 
said Highness further stipulates and binds himself, his heirs and 
successors, to abide by such adjustment as the British Government 
shall accordingly determine. 


Article XV 
The contracting parties will employ all practical means of conciliation 
to prevent the calamity of war, and for that purpose will, at all times, 
be ready to enter into amicable explanations with other states, and to 
cultivate and improve the general relations of peace and amity with all 
the powers of India, according to the true spirit and tenor of this 
defensive treaty. But if a war should unfortunately break out between 
the contracting parties and any other power whatever, then His High- 
ness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur engages, that with the reserve of 
two battalions of sepoys, which are to remain near His Highness's 
person, the residue of the British subsidiary force, consisting of four 
battalions of sepoys with their artillery, joined by six thousand infantry 
and ten thousand horse of His Highness's own troops, and making 
together an army of ten thousand infantry and ten thousand cavalry, 
with the requisite train of artillery, and warlike stores of every kind, 
shall be immediately put in motion, for the purpose of opposing the 
enemy ; and His Highness likewise engages to employ every further 
effort in his power, for the purpose of bringing into the field, as speedily 
as possible, the whole force which he may be able to supply from his 
dominions, with a view to the effectual prosecution and speedy termi- 
nation of the said war. The Hon'ble Company in the same manner 
engage on their parts, in this case, to employ in active operations 
against the enemy the largest force which they may be able to furnish 
over and above the said subsidiary force. 

Article XVI 
Whenever war shall appear probable, His Highness Rav Pandit 
Pradhan Bahadur engages to collect as many brinjaris * as possible, and 
to store as much grain as may be practicable in his frontier garrisons. 

Article XVII 
As by the present treaty the union and friendship of the two states is 
so firmly cemented that they may be considered as one and the same, 
His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur engages neither to com- 
mence nor to pursue, in future, any negotiations with any other Power 
whatever without giving previous notice and entering into mutual 
consultation with the Hon'ble East India Company's Government ; and 
the Hon'ble Company's Government, on their part, hereby declare that 
they have no manner of concern with any of His Highness's children, 
relations, subjects, or servants, with respect to whom His Highness is 


Article XVIII 

Inasmuch as, by the present treaty of general defensive alliance, the 
ties of union are, with the blessing of God, so closely drawn, that the 
interests of the two states are become identified, it is further mutually 

A caste specially skilled in army transport. 


agreed, that if disturbances shall at any time break out in the districts 
ceded to the Hon'ble Company by this agreement, His Highness Rav 
Pandit Pradhan Bahadur shall permit such a proportion of the subsi- 
diary troops as may be requisite to be employed in quelling the same 
within the said districts. If disturbances shall, at any time, break out 
in any part of His Highness's dominions contiguous to the Company's 
frontier, to which it might be inconvenient to detach any proportion of 
the subsidiary force, the British Government, in like manner, if required 
by His Highness Rav Pandit Pradhan Bahadur, shall direct such pro- 
portion of the troops of the Company as may be most conveniently 
stationed for the purpose, to assist in quelling the said disturbances 
within His Highness's dominions. 

Article XIX 

It is finally declared that this treaty, which, according to the fore- 
going articles, is meant for the support and credit of His said High- 
ness's Government, and to preserve it from loss and decline, shall last 
as long as the sun and moon shall endure. 

Signed, sealed, and exchanged at Bassein, the 31st of December, 
Anno Domini 1802, or the 5th of Ramzan, Anno Hijri 1217. 

(Sd.) B. CLOSE, 

Resident at Poona. 

The Seal of Pradhan 

(The Peshwa's signature). 



The English had now become the foremost power in India, 
and, had Bajirao been wise, he would have acquiesced in the 
position of a subordinate ally. After all they had high 
claims on his gratitude. But for them he would never have 
recovered Poona and the throne ; nevertheless, his feudatories 
had no sooner been reduced by the English than he began 
to intrigue with his feudatories against his protectors. At 
the same time he took advantage of his favoured position to 
concentrate his troops and to sequestrate the estates of some 
of the Maratha nobles. The first estate to come into his 
hands was that of the Pratinidhi, then quite a young man. 
The Peshwa induced the Pratinidhi' s mother to confine her son 
in Mhaswad, a town in the Satara district. The young man's 
mistress, a telin or oil-seller and a woman of great spirit, 
raised a band of followers and rescued him. The Pratinidhi 
then became an outlaw but was reduced by Bapu Gokhale, a 
nephew of Dhondupant Gokhale, a Chitpavan Brahman of 
Chiplun. Dhondupant had joined Parashurambhau Patwardhan 
in 1791, in the campaign against Tipu. He was killed in 
action in 1799. Of his two nephews, Appa fell beside his 
uncle. The other, Bapu Gokhale was wounded, but served 
with General Wellesley in 1803, 1804 and 1805. He was 
killed at Ashta on the 17th February, 1818. His descendant, 
Sardar Gokhale resides at Poona. The Pratinidhi was strip- 
ped of his estate save a small portion reserved for his bare 
maintenance. The Peshwa next tried to secure Savantvadi, 
which was at war with Kolhapur, but in this he was unsuccess- 
ful. He was more fortunate in securing the person of Baburao 
Phadke, the son of the gallant Hari Ballal Phadke. He 
confined Baburao in Bassein fort, where he died, and confiscated 
his property. Madhavrao Raste was his next victim. He 
was bound under the terms of his fief to furnish a fixed 
number of cavalry. He failed to do so and was deprived of 
his entire estate. 


The Gaikvad's domain seemed to offer a fair field for the 
Peshwa's activities. It will be remembered that, on Damaji 
Gaikvad's death, first Govindrao was appointed his successor, 
an appointment that was subsequently set aside in favour of 
Fatehsing as regent for the imbecile Sayaji, who of all 
Damaji's sons had the best claim. On the 21st December, 
1789, Fatehsing Gaikvad, a ruler of considerable talents, fell 
from the upper storey of his palace and died. Govindrao 
now felt certain that he would at least succeed to the regency ; 
but he was once more disappointed and the Poona Govern- 
ment appointed his brother Manaji. The latter agreed, as the 
price of the Peshwa's favour, to pay sixty lakhs in instalments 
spread over four years. On the 1st August, 1793, Manaji 
died and this time fortune smiled on Govindrao. Nana 
Phadnavis demanded as the price of his recognition the 
cession of all the Gaikvad's estates south of the Tapti river 
and his share in the Surat customs. This the English forbade, 
relying on the Treaty of Salbai, which guaranteed the integrity 
of the Gaikvad's territories. On the other hand, the minister 
demanded Rs. 43,62,000 in cash, and extorted from Govindrao 
all the money, jewels and clothes in the palace of Baroda. 

Govindrao was a man of little or no ability. He had a 
temper as vindictive as Bajirao's, and, instead of governing 
his little principality properly, he spent his time paying off 
old scores. He turned out of office all Fatehsing's friends 
and put in their places Prabhus from Poona, of whom the 
most conspicuous were his new diwan, Ravaji Appaji, and his 
brother Babaji Appaji. Govindrao Gaikvad was recognized 
as Sena Khas Khel and ruler of Baroda on the 19th 
December, 1793 ; but in the meantime his own illegitimate 
son Kanhoji had thrown himself into Baroda with two 
thousand Arab and six hundred Pathan mercenaries. After a 
short siege Kanhoji Gaikvad was betrayed by his own men 
and imprisoned. On Nana Phadnavis' death the Peshwa 
extended to Guzarat his vindictive hatred of the minister's 
agents. He deprived Aba Shelukar, Nana Phadnavis' 
nominee, of his post of Deputy-Governor of the Peshwa's 
lands in Guzarat, and appointed in his place Govindrao 
Gaikvad. This appointment added to the Gaikvad's revenues, 
but it also added to the Peshwa's claims against him. 


Govindrao died on the 19th September, 1800, and his 
state was once more plunged into disorder. He left four 
legitimate and seven illegitimate sons. His eldest legitimate 
son Anandrao succeeded, with Ravaji Appaji as his first 
minister. Anandrao was a man of feeble intellect, and, to 
make matters worse, Kanhoji escaped from prison and, winning 
over his brother Anandrao, became the real ruler of the state. 
Ravaji Appaji appealed to the English, who gave him their 
support and by 1803 had restored order. These civil wars 
brought the finances, of Baroda to the lowest ebb. The 
contending parties had engaged bands of Arab and Afghan 
mercenaries ; and the East India Company required a sub- 
stantial reward. They paid off the arrears of the mercenaries 
but, as payment for their services, they took the Gaikvad's 
share of the Surat chatith, the talukas in Surat known 
respectively as the Chaurasi pargana and the Athavisi ; and 
they required the Gaikvad to subsidize in lieu of Arab 
mercenaries two thousand British sepoys and a battery of 
English artillery. To pay for the subsidized force, Anandrao 
Gaikvad on the 18th February, 1803, ceded Dholka, Nadiad, 
Vijapur and Kadi, lands worth annually Rs. 7,80,000. For 
the arrears paid by the English to the Arab mercenaries, 
Anandrao pledged the revenues of the Baroda, Koral, Sinor, 
Petlad and Ahmadabad parganas. 

Order had hardly been restored when a new personage 
appeared on the scene. Govindrao Gaikvad had for some 
reason devoted one of his younger sons, Fatehsing Gaikvad, 
to the service of the god Khandoba of Jejuri. In 1802, 
Fatehsing had been taken prisoner by Jaswantrao Holkar. 
In August, 1803, he escaped and entered Guzarat at the head 
of a body of Pathans. He at first tried to seize Baroda 
but afterwards confined himself to a demand for fifty 
thousand rupees, his alleged ransom due to Jaswantrao 

On the 2nd October, 1804, the Peshwa had renewed the lease 
of his Guzarat estates to the Gaikvad, but a rising of Kolis 
in February, 1805, and further military aid from, and fresh 
cessions to the English rendered the Gaikvad unable to pay 
Bajirao anything. To make matters worse Anandrao became 
completely unfit for the administration, and Fatehsing was 


given a share of it. 1 To the Peshwa' s demands he merely 
made frivolous counter-claims. The Peshwa thought the 
opportunity favourable for the resumption of at least a part of 
the Gaikvad's fief. The English had indeed previously 
objected, relying on the treaty of Salbai. But since then 
they had themselves occupied large tracts of the Gaikvad fief, 
so they would hardly press that objection again. As a 
preliminary he called on the Baroda Government to send an 
agent to settle the accounts. Eventually it was agreed that 
the Baroda Government should send as their envoy Gangadhar 
Shastri, an able man who had a large share of power. 
The English Government, anxious that the dispute should 
be ended, guaranteed his safety. The Peshwa disliked 
Gangadhar Shastri, whom he believed to be a partisan 
of the English, and it was not until 1814 that the Peshwa 
agreed to receive him. In the meantime his agents were 
actively engaged in increasing the disorders of the Baroda 
state. The Peshwa received Gangadhar Shastri with his 
usual charm of manner and tried to win him to his cause, but 
the envoy would not betray his master's interests, and, after 
some months of fruitless negotiations, Gangadhar Shastri 
decided to return to Baroda and invite the arbitration of the 
English. To this course the Peshwa took the strongest 
exception, for the East India Company, already in occupation 
of a large share of Guzarat, could hardly be expected to be 
impartial. The Peshwa, as his last throw, offered to appoint 
Gangadhar Shastri as his own minister and to give the hand 
of his sister-in-law to Gangadhar's son. The envoy at first 
gladly accepted the proposed marriage, but afterwards he 
hesitated, for fear it might be thought of him that he was 
neglecting his master's interests for his own. This conduct, 
highly honourable to Gangadhar, was bitterly resented by the 
prince, who determined to revenge himself. He found a 
ready tool in one Trimbakji Dengle. This man had at one 
time been a common despatch runner, and had succeeded in 

1 Before Fatehsing could be given a share of the administration he 
had to be ransomed from the god Khandoba. He was weighed against 
gold and silver and the precious metals sent to the god. Elliott's 
Rulers of Baroda, p. 82. 


attracting the Peshwa's favour, first by his speed as a runner 
and afterwards by his daring and ability. He disliked 
Gangadhar Shastri as a possible rival in his master's affec- 
tions, and he devised the following scheme for his destruction. 
The Peshwa was going on a pilgrimage to Pandharpur, to be 
present on the great day when crowds from all parts of the 
Deccan go carrying orange-coloured flags and on foot to visit 
the god Krishna. 1 Trimbakji Dengle with the assent of 
Bajirao pressed Gangadhar Shastri to join the party. The 
flattered ambassador readily accepted the invitation and 
went with the Peshwa and his suite to the holy city. On the 
14th July, the Peshwa asked Shastri to visit with him the 
temple of the god. Such an invitation it was impossible to 
refuse, for the 14th July corresponded with the 11th of the 
bright half of the Hindu month of Ashad, the holiest day in 
the whole year. Gangadhar Shastri went to the temple, 
worshipped at Krishna's shrine, paid his respects to the 
Peshwa, and started homewards. A few hundred yards 
farther on, at a spot still pointed out to the curious visitor, a 
band of cut-throats, hired by Trimbakji Dengle, fell on Shastri 
and cut him to pieces. 

The British Government, who had guaranteed the safety of 
the envoy, were greatly incensed at his murder and demanded 
the surrender of Trimbakji Dengle. The Peshwa with great 
reluctance gave him up, and the miscreant was confined in 
Thana fort. He was closely guarded by English soldiers, 
but Trimbakji was a bold, active man ; and, with the Peshwa's 
secret assistance and the active help of a groom of one of the 
English officers, he escaped (12th September, 1816). 

Having broken out of prison, Trimbakji Dengle began to 
collect troops under the orders of Bajirao, who was by now 
thoroughly tired of his English friends. With the Resident 
Bajirao affected to be on the best of terms ; but he was 
secretly negotiating with Sindia, the Raja of Nagpur and 
Amir Khan, the Pindhari chief, who controlled the Holkar 
Government. The English Resident, Mr. Mountstuart Elphin- 
stone complained about Trimbakji Dengle's levies, but the 
Peshwa pretended to ignore all his doings. The Resident 

1 See vol. I, p. 107. 


then called on the Peshwa to act against an admitted rebel. 
Bajirao agreed, but did nothing. At last the Resident 
formally demanded the arrest of Trimbakji Dengle within one 
month, and the surrender of Sinhgad, Purandar and Raygad 
as pledges. Bajirao refused to comply until Elphinstone on 
the 8th May surrounded Poona with British troops. He 
then made a virtue of necessity and signed what is known as 
the treaty of Poona. He issued a proclamation for the arrest 
of Trimbakji Dengle, and surrendered the forts and several 
members of Dengle's family as hostages. That was not all. 
He agreed to have no communication with any foreign power, 
limited his territorial claims to the country between the Narbada 
and the Tungabhadra, and ceded land yielding annually 
thirty-four lakhs of rupees, instead of the military contingent 
that he was bound to furnish by the treaty of Bassein. The 
tract of ceded land included Ahmadnagar, Ahmadabad and 
the northern Konkan. He restored his estate to Madhavrao 
Raste and Mailghat to the Nizam. He resigned all his claims 
on the Gaikvad in return for four and a half lakhs a year. 

Up to the time of this humiliating treaty, the Peshwa had 
felt jealousy of and dislike for the English. He now became 
consumed with hatred against them. At the same time the 
English Government formed the resolve to establish their 
supremacy over India, if only to suppress the anarchy that 
was spreading like a cancer over the whole sub-continent. 
Thugs, Pindharis, bandits of every description, roamed un- 
molested, save by the English, over the length and breadth of 
the country ; and as the lands became depopulated forests 
grew, and wild dog, tiger and panther dwelt in the fields once 
cultivated by human beings. 

Bajirao, in order to deceive the Resident, had pretended to 
dismiss his troops by giving all of them leave on full pay. In 
July, 1817, he went to Mahuli, the spot where King Shahu 
and Sakhwarbai had been burnt. There he met Sir John 
Malcolm, the political agent to the Governor-General, and 
completely misled him by his professions of love and good- 
will towards the English. Malcolm obtained for Bajirao the 
restoration of the three ceded fortresses, Sinhgad, Purandar 
and Raygad, and permission to raise troops and join in the 
expedition that the English Government were contemplating 


against the Pindharis. Having obtained these indulgences, 
Bajirao stayed on at Mahuli and with Bapu Gokhale's help 
organized a fresh army. At the same time he tried actively 
to seduce the Indian troops of the English Government, and 
in some cases the English officers. His conduct was soon 
known to Elphinstone, whose secret service was excellent. 
On the 19th October, the Peshwa celebrated the Dasara 
festival. The celebration was a splendid one ; but the attitude 
of the Maratha troops towards the English was so threatening, 
and the reinforcements that the Peshwa called in so large, 
that on the 30th October, 1817, the Resident withdrew his 
troops to Khadki, or the rocky village, now known as the 
railway station of Kirkee. The Resident himself stayed on 
at his house, the Sangam, with a guard of two hundred and 
fifty men, but he ordered a light battalion and some auxiliary 
horse to come into Poona from Sirur, forty miles away. The 
Peshwa believed that the withdrawal of the English troops was 
due to fear, and resolved to overwhelm them before the 
reinforcement from Sirur could reach them. On the 5th 
November, 1817, Bapu Gokhale moved out of Poona with 
twenty-six thousand men. The Resident, seeing the Maratha 
advance, crossed the Mulla river close to the Residency, and 
with his guard joined the main body of his troops at Kirkee. 
Directly Elphinstone had reached Kirkee, the little English 
army, who numbered only two thousand, eight hundred men, 
marched under Colonel Burr to the attack. Bapu Gokhale 
opened the battle by sending six thousand cavalry to destroy 
the 1st battalion of the 7th Regiment, who in their eagerness 
to engage had advanced too far. Happily for the sepoys of 
the 7th, a deep quagmire unknown to either side protected 
their front. Just as the French cuirassiers fell headlong 
into the sunken road at Ohain, so the Maratha horse were 
hopelessly entangled in the swamp between them and their 
objective. As they strove to ride clear, the sepoys of the 
7th Regiment poured volley after volley into them with appall- 
ing effect. The losses incurred were so heavy that Bapu 
Gokhale's plans were entirely upset. His army, which consisted 
largely of new levies, lost all spirit, and as the English 
advanced the Marathas fell back on Poona. Colonel Burr in 
turn fell back on Kirkee and awaited reinforcements. That 


evening the light battalion and the light horse from Sirur 
joined him. General Smith, who with the 4th Division had 
been in the Chandor Hills near Nasik, arrived on the evening 
of the 13th November, and on the 17th November the 
English entered Poona without opposition, for Bajirao had 
fled to Satara, where he seized Pratapsing and several other 
members of the Bhosle family. On the 22nd November, 
General Smith began the pursuit of the Peshwa. That 
unhappy prince now doubled back to join Trimbakji Dengle 
north of Junnar. General Smith followed him ; but, fearing 
that the Maratha army might slip past him into the Konkan 
and overwhelm the small English detachment there under 
Colonel Prother, he directed Colonel Burr to send reinforce- 
ments to Colonel Prother and to call in from Sirur the 2nd 
Battalion of the 1st Regiment. Colonel Burr acted on these 
instructions, and, on receiving their orders, the 2nd Battalion 
of the 1st Regiment, five hundred strong, and three hundred 
irregular horse, accompanied by two guns and twenty-four 
English artillerymen, set out for Poona at 8 p.m. on the 31st 
December, 1817. Their commander was Captain Francis 
Staunton. The troops marched all night and reached the 
high ground above the Bhima river about 10 a.m. Across its 
bed, almost dry in the cold weather, they saw twenty-five 
thousand Maratha cavalry awaiting them. Bajirao advancing 
on Poona had heard of the near approach of Staunton's 
detachment and had determined to intercept it. Captain 
Staunton made a skilful feint, as if about to cross the river, 
then suddenly turned and took post at Koregaon, a little 
village on the Bhima's eastern bank. It was surrounded by a 
low wall ; and two temples, of Bahiroba and Maruti, to the 
west and a large house from the north-west formed convenient 
spots from which to enfilade an attack from the river. Captain 
Staunton posted his two guns, one to guard the road from 
Sirur and the other to guard an approach from the Bhima river. 
The Peshwa did not attack at once, but awaited the coming of 
five thousand picked infantry, who were some distance ahead. 
On the arrival of the infantry the attack on Koregaon 
began. Three bodies of Arab and Maratha foot, each three 
hundred strong, crossed the Bhima river under cover of a 
shower of rockets and a vigorous cannonade. A feigned 


attack was at the same time made from the Sirur road. The 
Peshwa's infantry were not lacking in courage and by noon 
they had carried the two temples that were the main out- 
works of the village. The attacking columns were constantly 
reinforced and the single gun on the riverside was captured, 
and eleven out of the twenty-four English artillerymen killed. 
The detachment fought with the greatest bravery, but the 
men had marched all night and were wholly without food, 
while four of their English officers — Wingate, Swanston, 
Pattinson and Conellan — lay dead or wounded on the ground. 
It seemed as if nothing could save the survivors, and even the 
English artillerymen appealed to Staunton to surrender while 
they still could. But in the bosom of Staunton beat one of the 
bravest hearts that ever found a place within a human breast. 
While he lived, he said, there would be no surrender. His 
intrepid spirit fired the defenders and a moment later help 
came to them, as it were from beyond the grave. Pattinson, 
the adjutant of the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Regiment, was one 
of those who lay wounded on the ground. He was a man of 
gigantic stature, but, mortally stricken, he had been left for 
dead. At this supreme crisis his heroic spirit returned once 
more to its earthly tenement. His men, who idolized him, 
fancied that to save them he had come back from another 
world, and followed him joyfully to the counter-attack. So 
inspired, it carried everything before it. In vain the Arabs 
refused to quit the captured gun. They were bayoneted 
where they stood. The gun was retaken and fired point 
blank into the advancing reinforcements. Pattinson was 
again shot down, but his men, uplifted by his example and the 
dauntless soul of their commander, successfully defended the 
hamlet until after dark. Next morning the attack was not 
renewed, and Captain Staunton the following evening marched 
back with his wounded and with his weary but unbeaten 
detachment to Sirur. 1 He had achieved a great and enduring 

1 When Judge of Poona, I often visited Koregaon. The wall which 
Staunton defended so gallantly has disappeared, but the two temples, 
Maruti's and Bahiroba's still stand. A tomb marks the spot where the 
English officers and men were buried. Across the Bhima, where the 
Peshwa watched the battle, the Bombay Government have erected a 


success. He had not only defended himself against odds of 
more than thirty to one ; but he had broken the moral of the 
Maratha army. A grateful Government showered honours 
upon him, but he did not live many years to enjoy them ; and 
on the 25th June, 1825, Colonel Staunton, c.b., died off the 
Cape of Good Hope and was buried at sea. As their reward 
the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Regiment were created grenadiers, 
as the 1st Battalion of the same regiment had been for the 
defence of Mangalore. They still bear the name of Koregaon 
on their banner, and they still celebrate with befitting revelry 
the immortal anniversary. 

triumphal column. On it are inscribed both in English and Marathi 
the names of the officers and men who fell in the action. Besides their 
names are also inscribed the following words : 

This Column 

is erected to commemorate the defence of Koregaum 

by a detachment commanded by Captain 

Staunton of the Bombay Establishment 

which was surrounded on the 1st January, 1818, 

by the Peshwa's whole army under his 

personal command, 

and withstood throughout the day a series of 

the most obstinate 

and sanguinary assaults of his best troops. 

Captain Staunton 

under the most appalling circumstances, 

persevered in his desperate resistance, 

and, seconded by the unconquerable spirit of 

his detachment, 

at length achieved the signal discomfiture of 

the Enemy, 

and accomplished one of the proudest 


of the British Army in the East. 




Genealogical Tree of the Gaikvads of Baroda 











(Jaghirdar of Kadi) 







Manaji Morari- 
(1789- rao 


I I 

Ramrao Jaysing- 








Ganpatrao Khanderao 

(1847-1856) (1856-1870) 


H.H. Maharaja Sayajirao 

(1875 to the present day) 







From Koregaon Bajirao, deeply mortified, fled towards the 
south. There he all but met Monro. Hearing of Monro's 
vicinity, the Peshwa recrossed the Krishna, evaded General 
Smith and reached Sholapur. Generals Smith and Pritzler 
now met, and on the 7th February, 1818, their combined 
divisions gave up the pursuit of the Peshwa, and reduced the 
fort of Satara. First the English colours were hoisted and 
then the Bhagwa Jhenda, as it was intended to make Satara 
the capital of a new Bhosle kingdom. General Smith was 
then directed to renew the pursuit of the Peshwa and 
General Pritzler was appointed to reduce the Poona forts. 
On the 14th February, General Pritzler set out from Satara 
for Sinhgad. It resisted stoutly from the 24th February 
to the 2nd March, when it surrendered. On the 11th March, 
General Pritzler was in front of Purandar. After a three days' 
bombardment Purandar hoisted the white flag. In the mean- 
time Chakan had fallen to another detachment on the 26th 
February, Visapur on the 4th March and Lohgad on the 5th 
March. By the 3rd May, General Pritzler had made himself 
master of every fort in the neighbourhood of Poona. 

While his fortresses were falling one after another into the 
hands of General Pritzler, Bajirao himself was fleeing, without 
any definite plan, from General Smith. On the 19th Febru- 
ary, Smith overtook the Maratha army at Ashta, a village in 
the Sholapur district, fifteen miles from Pandharpur. Bapu 
Gokhale was by this time sick unto death at the loss of his 
son in action, 1 at his master's taunts and at his country's 
calamities. He charged the 7th Regiment of British cavalry, 
as they were crossing a dry river-bed, and, although he caused 
some disorder in their ranks, his command was in turn 

1 He had fallen in a skirmish in the hills a few days before and his 
wife had committed sati (Peshwa's Bakhar). 


attacked by the 22nd Dragoons. Bapu met a soldier's death, 
being sabred in the fighting, while the unworthy Peshwa 
galloped off the field. The English captured a quantity of 
baggage and above all the Raja of Satara, Pratap Sing, with 
his mother and brothers. Shahu II had died on the 3rd May, 
1808, and his eldest son Pratapsing had succeeded him. 
Chatursing, the gallant brother of Shahu II was still alive 
but a prisoner in Kanjuri fortress, eleven miles south-east of 
the town of Mahad. In 1812 he had been treacherously 
captured by Trimbakji Dengle. 

The capture of the Raja of Satara was of the utmost value 
to the English, for it enabled them to pose as fighting on 
behalf of the successor of the great king, and several of 
Bajirao's jaghirdars, including the Patwardhans, at once left 
his standard. Bajirao, hopeless of success and tortured by 
fears for his own safety, sought to take refuge in Nagpur. But 
he was not destined to find a shelter there. Mudhoji Bhosle 
had died on the 19th May, 1788, and had left, besides Raghuji, 
two sons, Khandoji and Vyankoji. 1 Raghuji, although the 
adopted son of Ranoji did not become the ruler of Nagpur 
until his natural father Mudhoji's death. Khandoji 2 died 
shortly after his father and Vyankoji remained loyal to his 
brother, whom he predeceased. Raghuji died on the 22nd 
March, 1816, leaving an idiot son called Parsoji. The only 
possible candidate for the regency was Vyankoji' s son 
Mudhoji, whom it will be convenient to call by his better 
known name, Appa Sahib. He was a young man of some 
capacity and had commanded the Bhosle's troops at the battle 
of Argaon. To secure himself as regent Appa Sahib on 
the 27th May, 1816, signed a treaty with the English. He 
undertook to pay them annually Rs. 7,50,000, as the cost of a 
regiment of cavalry and of six thousand infantry officered by 
Englishmen. Appa Sahib also undertook himself to keep up 
three thousand cavalry and two thousand infantry. After the 
treaty had been signed Appa Sahib established his authority 

1 Panipat Prakaran, p. 282. 

2 Khandoji was also called Chimna Bapu and Vyankoji was also 
called Manya Bapu. Mudhoji Vyankoji's son was usually known as 
Appa Sahib. 


over the Nagpur dominion. On the 2nd February, 1817, he 
had his cousin Parsoji strangled and plunged actively into the 
anti-English intrigues of Bajirao. He concealed his treachery 
until the Peshwa's rupture with the English, when he prepared 
to destroy the Resident, Mr. Jenkins. The latter's force con- 
sisted of two and a half battalions of Madras infantry, two 
English regiments, three squadrons of Bengal cavalry and four 
guns. On the 26th November was fought the battle of Sitabaldi 
hill, a low range, which separated the English Residency from 
Nagpur town. The English, although outnumbered by at 
least six to one, repulsed Appa Sahib's attack. His position 
was now hopeless, for English reinforcements kept pouring 
into Nagpur, and on the 15th December the unlucky prince 
surrendered. Appa Sahib's army made some slight resistance, 
but by the 24th December the war was over. Thus, long 
before Bajirao could have reached Nagpur, his hoped-for 
haven had fallen into the hands of his English enemies. 1 

Baulked of a shelter in Nagpur, the ill-fated Peshwa fled 
back to Kopargaon, the spot where he had passed his child- 
hood, and thence to Chanda. He was now being hunted down 
from all sides. Colonel Adams took Chanda by storm, and 
when Bajirao escaped from it General Doveton took up the 
pursuit. At last, on the 3rd June, 1818, the great grandson of 
Balaji Vishvanath surrendered to Sir John Malcolm at Mhow 
near Indore. 

After the re-establishment in 1802 of Bajirao II at Poona, 
Amritrao had tried to make his peace with his adopted 
brother. But the foolish Peshwa neither forgot nor forgave, 
and rejected all Amritrao's overtures. The latter then joined 
General Wellesley, and was so fortunate as to obtain from the 
British Government a pension of eight lakhs a year. He went 
to Benares, where he lived until his death in September, 1824. 
Bajirao asked for and obtained from Sir John Malcolm a 

1 The subsequent treachery of Appa Sahib led to his arrest and 
imprisonment. On the 13th May, however, he escaped from prison and 
joined Chitu, a well-known guerilla leader. After carrying on a guerilla 
warfare for some months he sought the protection of the Sikhs. After 
his flight the widow of Raghuji was allowed to adopt Parsoji's minor 
son, who on adoption took the name of Raghuji also. 


promise that his pension should not be less than Amritrao's, 
as the Company had proclaimed their intention of annexing 
his kingdom. The prince promised in return to help in the 
capture of Trimbakji Dengle, a promise that he did not 
keep. This, however, was of little importance, as the fugitive 
was not long afterwards seized in Khandesh. Sir John 
Malcolm's promise was confirmed by the Governor-General, 
Lord Hastings, and Bajirao was asked where he would like to 
reside, as he could not be permitted to live in any part of his 
former possessions. The prince chose Brahmavarta or Bithur 
on the banks of the Ganges, and the Company bestowed the 
town on him in jaghir. A beautiful site about six miles in 
circumference was assigned for the Peshwa's residence, and 
its boundaries were marked by sixteen stone pillars. The 
Company appointed a special Resident to his court. His 
name was Captain Lowe. He was thus by a curious coincid- 
ence the namesake of the officer appointed to guard the far 
more eminent exile, who since 1815 had been eating his heart 
out at St. Helena. But there the resemblance ended. At 
Longwood petty persecution, hateful surroundings, an in- 
commodious residence, the vicinity of an odious and narrow- 
minded jailor, embittered the last days of the greatest of 
Europe's rulers. At Bithur Bajirao was given the widest 
indulgence. An ample pension, a vast palace surrounded by 
a gigantic demesne and cooled by the breeze from India's 
mightiest river, consoled the last Peshwa for the loss of 
a power that he had never learnt properly to wield. It is 
no wonder that the behaviour of the captives differed as 
widely as the manner of their captivity. For six years 
Europe resounded with the complaints of the unfortunate 
Corsican. But so happily passed the years of the Bithur exile 
that history, English and Indian alike, has entirely forgotten 
the last part of his existence. Indeed there was little or 
nothing to record. Day after day of the exile's life glided by 
in a luxurious dream. He loved women ; and on his palace 
walls hung vast mirrors framed in gold, which constantly 
reflected the rounded and charming forms of the most beautiful 
dancing-girls in Asia. His tables groaned beneath their 
massive load of plate. His park swarmed with every kind of 
deer and wild-fowl that India could furnish. Singers, cither 


players, wrestlers, jugglers, strove with one other for the 
privilege of soothing the tedium of the most urbane of 
princes. And some eight thousand guardsmen, armed with 
every kind of useless weapon, recalled to Bajirao the days 
when his generals could lead thirty thousand men across the 
Muta river towards Kirkee. 

Such was the curious mental standpoint of the Peshwa that, 
much as he loved pleasure, he yet loved religion still more. 
Bajirao experienced his keenest joy when he distributed gifts 
and alms to pious Brahmans. From the Deccan and Benares, 
from Allahabad and Gwalior, indeed from every spot which 
on one ground or another had a claim to sanctity, there 
poured into Bithur a never-failing stream of learned but 
poverty-stricken savants. At Bithur, provided they knew 
Sanskrit — for the deposed prince was an excellent scholar— 
they were certain of a gift and a welcome. Much as Bajirao 
loved the society of his dancing-girls, he was even more 
deeply attached to the married state. While at Poona he 
married no less than six young ladies, and five more while at 
Bithur ; but his many marriages did not bring the Peshwa 
what he most desired, a son. His eldest wife, the Lady 
Waranashibai of the Phatak family, bore him a boy, but the 
child died within fifteen or twenty days of its birth. His 
sixth wife, the Lady Saraswatibai of the Pendse family, bore 
him two daughters. One of these two, Bayabai by name, 
married the son of Sardar Babasahib Apte of Gwalior. She 
outlived her husband, was made a sardar of the Deccan and 
was alive until a few years ago. On the 6th June, 1827, 
Bajirao adopted Dhondupant, the son of one Madhavrao 
Narayan Bhat, a poor priest that lived at Venegaon near the 
Bhor Ghat. Subsequently he adopted Dhondupant' s two 
brothers, Sadashivrao and Gangadharrao. Dhondupant was 
the notorious Nana Sahib of the Mutiny of 1857, Bajirao 
himself died in 1851 at the ripe age of eighty. At the time 
of his death he was on the most friendly terms with the 
English. On one occasion he lent the Company six lakhs of 
rupees. During the Sikh war he equipped at his own expense 
two regiments — one of infantry and one of cavalry— for the 
Company's service. In fact, the life that the Company 
compelled him to lead for over thirty years was probably the 


one best suited to his pleasure-loving nature. Once the first 
shock had passed, Bajirao probably regretted rarely, if ever, 
the loss of his unstable throne. He seems to have had none 
of the qualities that befit a ruler. He was physically timid, 
short-sighted in politics, treacherous and vacillating. His 
most remarkable quality was his exquisite charm of manner ; 
and Sir James Mackintosh, at one time Recorder of Bombay, 
has left on record that he had met three sovereigns — George 
III, Napoleon I and Bajirao II— and of the three he far preferred 
the sovereign of Poona. 

In the meantime the reduction of Bajirao' s other strong 
places had progressed rapidly. Vasota in the Koyna valley fell 
on the 5th April, and Badami and Sholapur fell in the same 
month. Raygad surrendered on the 7th May. The most 
obstinately defended of the Maratha forts was Malegaon in 
Khandesh. It fell on the 13th June. 

The reduction of the country was followed by its settlement. 
To the old Maratha aristocracy, the contemporaries of the 
great king, the Company restored their lands without distinc- 
tion. We have thus to this day the Nimbalkars of Phaltan, 
the Daphles of Jath, and the Ghorpades of Mudhol. To the 
Pant Sachiv of Bhor, the Pratinidhi of Aundh, and the Raja of 
Akalkot, all of whom had left the Peshwa's cause early, their 
entire jaghirs were given back. The Patwardhans were 
treated with similar forbearance. 

Bajirao had made every effort to win Daulatrao Sindia 
to his cause. He went even so far as to write him the 
following letter : — 

"Your father Madhavrao Sindia, agreeably to the 

orders of the Sarkar, went to Delhi, was made a vazir and 

acquired a high reputation. He served us with his heart 

and soul. When you became his successor, you entered 

into an alliance with the English : thus you govern in 

Hindustan and thus you show us your gratitude. In thus 

serving us, it befits you to put bangles on your arms and 

sit down like a woman. After my power is destroyed, is 

it possible that yours should stand ? " 

Daulatrao Sindia felt Bajirao's reproaches deeply, but he 

remained loyal to the English alliance. In acting thus he 

shewed the truest political wisdom and preserved his state 


intact for his successors. He died without either natural or 
adoptive heirs, and his widow, the famous Baizibai, the daughter 
of Sakharam Ghatge, adopted with the leave of the Governor- 
General a boy called Mugatrao Sindia, who on adoption took 
the name of Ali Jah Jankojirao Sindia (27th June, 1827). 
Jankojirao Sindia died on the 7th February, 1843. His widow 
Tarabai adopted Bhagirathrao Sindia, who succeeded as Jayaji- 
rao. In the Mutiny Jayajirao Sindia remained loyal to the 
English, although his troops revolted. On the 20th June, 
1886, Jayajirao Sindia died, leaving behind him a son, Madhav- 
rao Sindia. This splendid prince still rules over Sindia's 
dominions and the honours conferred on him are too numerous 
to record. 1 

The House of Holkar was not so fortunate as the House of 
Sindia. Instead of an experienced chief, the boy prince 
Malharrao was the nominal ruler, while the regent was Tulsi- 
bai, a former concubine of Jaswantrao, and the mistress and 
tool of Holkar's hereditary diwan, Ganpatrao. The result 
was that the Peshwa's party prevailed and war ensued with 
the English. On the 28th December, 1817, the army of 
Holkar attacked the English at Madhidpur and were com- 
pletely defeated. The remains of Holkar's army were 
attacked by General Browne and destroyed on the 10th Janu- 
ary, 1818, at Rampur. In the meantime Tulsibai had been 
murdered by her own troops, and on the 6th January, the 
young Holkar had made his peace with the English by the 
treaty of Mandasor and become their subordinate ally. 

He gave up his lands south of the Narbada and abandoned 
all his claims over Rajputana, while the English undertook 
to maintain a sufficient field force to protect his state. This 
force still exists and is the Mhow garrison. 

The English appointed a resident at Holkar's court, and 
Tatya Jogh became the boy prince's administrator. By 1826, 

1 The following are some of His Highness' titles : General His High- 
ness Mukhtar-ul-Mulk, Azim-ul-Iktidar, Rafi-ush-Shan, Wala Shikoh, 
Mohtar Sham-i-Dauran, Umdat-ul-Umara, Maharaja Adhiraj, Ali 
Jah, Hisam-us-Sultanat, Maharaja Shrinath, Mansur-i-Zaman, Fidivi- 
i-Hazrat-i-Malika-i-Muazzana-i-Rafi-ud-Din-Darja-i-Inglistan G.c.s.i., 
G.c.v.o., ll.d., and a.d.c to h.i.m. the King-Emperor, (Gwalior 


when Tatya Jogh died, he had raised the state revenues to 
thirty lakhs. Malharrao Holkar died in 1833, at the age of 
twenty-eight, and was succeeded by Harirao, who died in 1843. 
His successor was Tukojirao Holkar II, a boy adopted by 
Ma Sahiba Kesaribai, one of Jaswantrao's widows. Tukoji- 
rao II remained loyal during the Mutiny, although his troops 
revolted, and protected at his own risk in his palace a 
number of Christians, English and Indian. He died in 
1886, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Shivajirao. The 
latter's administration had little merit. In 1903, he abdicated 
in favour of his only son, H.H. the Maharajadhiraja Raja 
Rajeshwar Sawai Tukoji Holkar Bahadur, the present 

The great state of Kolhapur was not only preserved intact, 
but increased in size. In 1772, Jijibai, the widow of Sambhaji 
of Kolhapur, died. She had administered the state since her 
husband's death in the name of her adopted son Shivaji. She 
died leaving him surrounded by enemies, and for ten years 
the state, attacked from all quarters, was on the brink of 
ruin. During the dissensions of the last Peshwa's court 
Shivaji, Raja of Kolhapur, offered a shelter to Chatursing the 
brother of Shahu II, then Raja of Satara. In 1799, Shivaji 
defeated and killed Parashrambhau 1 Patwardhan at Pattankudi. 
The latter's son Ramchandra retrieved his father's defeat and 
besieged Kolhapur, but on the death of Nana Phadnavis he 
was deserted by Bajirao, and forced to raise the siege after 
suffering heavy losses. 

On the 24th April, 1812, Shivaji, Raja of Kolhapur, died, 
leaving two sons, Shambhu and Shahaji. Shambhu succeeded 
to the throne and in 1817 loyally supported the English. He 
received in return for his help the districts of Chikodi and 
Manoli, for which he and the Patwardhans had been continu- 
ally fighting. In 1821, Shambhu was murdered. He left an 
infant son who died soon afterwards. His brother Shivaji 
then succeeded. He died of cholera in 1837. His son Shivaji 
succeeded and ruled until 1866, remaining staunch to the 
English all through the Mutiny. He was followed on the 
throne by his adopted son Rajaram, a youth of rare promise, 

1 See Appendix C for account of Parashrambhau's death. 


who unhappily died at Florence on the 30th November, 1870. 
His widow was allowed to adopt a son, who also took the name 
of Shivaji. Unhappily his mind failed and he died at 
Ahmadnagar. On the 17th March, 1884, his widow adopted 
Yashwantrao, the eldest son of the Chief of Kagal. After 
a long and prosperous reign, Sir Shahu Chatrapati, Maharaja 
of Kolhapur, died loaded with every honour that His Majesty 
the King-Emperor could bestow on a loyal ally. 

The Company's most interesting experiment was the 
creation of a kingdom for the heir of the great king. Under 
a treaty dated the 25th September, 1818, Pratapsing was 
formally installed as Maharaja of Satara and ruler of a terri- 
tory that included the whole of the present district of Satara 
except the sub-division of Tasgaom, which then belonged to a 
branch of the Patwardhans. Besides the Satara district the 
Maharaja received the sub-divisions of Sangoia, Malsiras and 
Pandharpur in Sholapur, the city of Bijapur and a considerable 
tract of land in its neighbourhood. To help the young chief 
with his advice the Government appointed Captain James 
Grant Duff, who will live in men's minds as the historian of 
the Marathas rather than as the Political Agent of Satara. So 
long as that able, learned, and sympathetic man was there to 
guide Pratapsing all went well, and the relations between the 
Maharaja and the Bombay Government could hardly have 
been better. Grant Duff's successors lacked his tact and 
knowledge, and friction ensued, which a little patience and 
discretion on their part might have avoided. At last the 
Maharaja seems to have been led by his attendants and 
hangers-on into ridiculous plots against the English Govern- 
ment. On the 5th September, 1839, the Court of Directors 
took the serious step of deposing Pratapsing and of putting 
in his place his younger brother Shahaji. Both Pratapsing 
and Shahaji were excellent administrators ; and probably in 
all India the English had no truer friend than the Maharaja 
Shahaji. During the Kabul War of 1841-42 Shahaji offered 
his troops to the English, and during the insurrection that 
spread through Kolhapur in 1845 he sent a contingent to 
assist the English to put it down. His expenditure on public 
works was munificent, and the bridges built by him across the 
Yenna and the Krishna are still admired by engineers. His 


palace is now the court-house of the Judge of Satara, and the 
present writer, who for some time officiated in that office, 
can himself testify to the noble proportions of the building. 
Had the Maharaja asked the Governor-General for leave to 
adopt, his request could hardly have been refused. Unhappily 
in March, 1848, he was suddenly taken ill. There was no 
time to correspond with the Governor-General, and in the 
presence of Dr. Murray, the Civil Surgeon, the dying Maha- 
raja adopted a boy named Vyankoji Bhosle of the house of 
Shedgaon, which traced its origin to Sharif ji, the uncle of the 
great king. The Resident, Mr. (afterwards Sir Bartle) Frere 
strongly pressed on the Bombay Government the recognition 
of the adoption. Sir George Clerk, the Governor of Bombay, 
took the same view as the Resident. Unfortunately the 
Directors ruled otherwise and the East India Company 
took back the little kingdom that they had made over in 

While the Company thus regulated the future of the Deccan 
nobles, the settlement of the rest of the conquered territories 
engaged still more anxiously their attention. To describe in 
detail the administration of the Peshwas would be to go far 
beyond the scope of this work ; but a sketch of its more 
salient features may not prove uninteresting. The base on 
which the administrative pyramid rested was the village 
system. The headman of the village was called the patil. 
The post was hereditary and could be sold. But such was the 
honour in which it was held that no family sold it save when 
in the direst indigence. The patils were generally of ancient 
descent and could point to vatanpatras or deeds conferred on 
them by the emperors of Delhi or the Rajas of Satara, and 
confirmed by the Peshwas. The patil' s primary duty was to 
ascertain and to collect the Government dues, to punish 
trifling offences, to redress wrongs, to maintain order and to 
settle the villagers' disputes. The more serious offences he 
referred to his superiors. Civil matters he referred to the 
panchayat or council of village elders. The patil received 
a small stipend, but paid a dahakpatti or tax every twelfth 
year, equal to a year's salary ; and the dignity that attached 
to his office was his real reward. Fined and imprisoned he 
sometimes was for neglect of duty ; but he was seldom 


removed from his office save for treason or other serious 
crime. 1 

The patil's chief assistant was the village accountant or 
kulkarni. He was a Brahman, who could write up the village 
records and accounts. The most important state account 
books were five in number : (1) the general measurement and 
description of the village lands; (2) the list of the fields with 
the name, size and quality of each, the terms by which it was 
held, the name of the holder, the rent to which he had agreed, 
and the highest rent ever yielded by the field ; (3) the list of 
all the villagers, whether cultivators or otherwise, with a 
statement of the dues from each to Government, and the 
receipt and balance in the account of each ; (4) the general 
statement of the instalments of revenue ; and (5) the detailed 
account, in which each branch of revenue was shown under a 
separate head, with the receipts and balance of each. The 
administration paid the kulkarni either by fees or by a grant 
of land ; and he added to his official earnings by keeping the 
landholders' accounts, drawing up their agreements, and even 
writing their private letters. 

Directly under the patil were the bara balutas or twelve 
village servants : (1) the carpenter, (2) the blacksmith, (3) the 
washerman, (4) the barber, (5) the potter, (6) the silversmith, 
(7) the Gurav, or idol-dresser, (8) the water-carrier, (9) the 
shoemaker, (10) the ropemaker, (11) the watchman, (12) the 
Musulman mullah. Besides these there were the Brahman 
astrologer and the Brahman priest. 

(1) The carpenter kept in repair all wooden field tools, 
the landholder supplying the wood. He furnished the 
marriage stools on which the village bridegrooms and brides 
were bathed. He supplied travellers with pegs for their tents 
and for picketing their horses. His annual reward was 
two hundred sheaves of corn and twenty-four seers of grain for 
every thirty bigas 2 under tillage. He was also given his 
food while engaged in mending tools. 

(2) The blacksmith made and mended sickles, hoes, and 

1 My authorities for this passage are Part 2 of the Poona Gazetteer, 
Chapter 8, Forrest's Elphinstone, and Colebrooke's Life of Elphinstone. 
? A biga is rather less than acre. Thus thirty bigas = 22| acres, 


other iron field tools, and the iron locks and chains with which 
the villagers secured their doors. He put tyres on cart-wheels 
and shod the horses of villagers and travellers. He received 
in lieu of salary eighteen seers of grain out of every thirty 

(3) The washerman washed the clothes of male villagers ; 
the women washing their own. He spread clothes for the 
bridegroom to walk on at marriage processions, and for 
parties to sit on at marriages and other festivals. He 
received no grain allowance, but was paid by presents of 

(4) The barber shaved the villagers once a fortnight on a 
lucky day and cut their nails. On holidays he kneaded the 
muscles and cracked the joints of the patil and kulkarni. He 
was at once the village surgeon and the village musician, 
playing on the fife and drum at weddings. When the bride- 
groom came to the village to take away the bride, the barber 
led his horse, and received a turban as a reward. He trimmed 
the tails of oxen before the sowing season, and was paid by 
presents of grain. 

(5) The potter supplied the villagers with all their 
earthen vessels, their tiles and their bricks in return for their 
market price. At weddings he beat a drum and recited 
verses in honour of the goddess Parvati. At harvest festivals 
it was his duty to prepare a huge dish of barabat or stewed 

(6) The silversmith, or Potdar, tested the coins paid in 
as taxes. For this duty he received a small salary from 
Government, which he eked out by fashioning ornaments out 
of silver supplied by the villagers. 

(7) The Gurav or idol-dresser was the attendant of the 
village gods. Every morning he poured water over the 
images of Hanuman and Bahiru, marked their brows with 
sandalwood and oil, and dressed them with flowers. He swept 
the temples, neaped them with cowdung once every eight 
days, and lit their lamps every night. 

(8) The water-carrier, a Koli by caste, had to keep the 
drinking-vessels at the village office always full of water for 
the use of Hindus. He also supplied water to travellers at 
marriages and festivals. He lit the lamps every night at the 


village office, and every eight days neaped it with cowdung. 
If the village was on the bank of a river, he pointed out the 
ford to travellers. When the river was not fordable, he took 
passengers across on a raft, buoyed up by gourds and earthen 

(9) The shoemaker, or Chambhar, made water-bags, and 
thongs for the cartmen's whips, mended shoes and bridles, and 
each year supplied the patil and kulkarni with a pair of new 
shoes. The skins of all sheep killed in the village were his 
perquisite, and like the carpenter, he received two hundred 
sheaves of corn and twenty-four seers of grain for every thirty 
bigas under cultivation. 

(10) The ropemaker, or Mang, made hemp ropes and hide 
ropes, muzzles for oxen treading the corn, castrated the bulls, 
and carried out death sentences. He was an outcaste and was 
not allowed to live in the village. 

(11) The watchman or Mahar was also an outcaste, 
although somewhat higher in the social scale than a Mang. 
He lived in the maharvada outside the village. He ran errands, 
kept in his head the boundaries of fields, so that he might 
settle boundary disputes, provided firewood on Holi, Dasara 
and Diwali festivals, and also carried at funerals the firewood 
for burning the dead. He had other duties too numerous to 
mention. In return the village Mahars had a plot of land 
outside the village, and each family received forty sheaves of 
corn and four seers of grain for every thirty bigas. It was 
the Mahars' duty to remove all dead animals from the village, 
and the carcases were their perquisite. 

(12) The mulla killed the sheep at sacrifices and festivals. 
He received petty allowances of grain and straw. He also 
enjoyed the plot of land attached to the village mosque. 

The Brahman astrologer cast nativities, and the Brahman 
priest conducted the religious ceremonies. 

Between the patil or headman and the Government were 
the latter's representatives— the subhedar or collector and the 
sarsubhedar or commissioner. The land revenue taken by 
Shivaji from Poona and its vicinity was fixed according to the 
tankha, the system introduced by Malik Ambar into the 
kingdom of Ahmadnagar. It was a low permanent settlement 
calculated at one-fourth of a good year's produce, and was 


levied by way of a lump sum on the whole village. As the 
price of money fell, the assessment fixed by Malik Ambar 
dropped to about one-seventh of the village output ; and the 
administration imposed a variety of cesses, so as to increase 
the revenue. Balaji Bajirao's shrewd mind saw the wasteful- 
ness of this method of taxation, and he made a new settlement 
based on a fresh and elaborate measurement. His system 
was known as the ka?nal, and on an average doubled the 
contributions assigned to each village. To see that these 
contributions were not evaded, Balaji Bajirao created the 
offices of subhedar and sarsubhedar. As is still the case, the 
subhedar's office was harder worked and more responsible 
than that of his nominal superior. 

The subhedar's salary was calculated at one per cent 
on the revenue of his charge, and varied from five to 
six thousand rupees a year. He was appointed from year 
to year, and he had to pay in advance to Government 
the kamal assessment due from the villages in his charge. 
Sometimes he appointed subordinates of his own, known 
as mamlatdars ; sometimes he himself went to the villages 
under him and ascertained how much land was likely to 
be cultivated during the year. To watch and safeguard his 
interests he appointed kamavisdars and karkuns, whose duties 
corresponded with those of circle inspectors and talatis. In 
conjunction with the patils he checked the sum due from each 
village and left its collection to them. The revenue was 
collected sometimes in three, sometimes in four instalments ; 
when the instalment fell due the subhedar sent a messenger 
to warn the headman. The latter summoned the villagers, 
who paid in their dues one after another. As they did so, 
the village silversmith tested their coins and the accountant 
granted them a receipt. When the total had been collected, 
the patil sent it by a Mahar and the chaughula or assistant 
patil, together with a letter, to the subhedar. The interests of 
the Government were watched by a set of hereditary officials, 
known as the diwan or minister, the phadnavis or registrar, 
and the potnis or treasurer. They were expected to report 
any evil deeds done by the subhedar. The interests of the 
villagers were watched by the deshmukh and deshpande, 
hereditary officers whose original duties had been to a large 


extent usurped by the subhedar. This system worked at its 
best during the regency of Nana Phadnavis, whose untiring 
brain found no toil too arduous and no detail too minute. 

After the treaty of Bassein, Bajirao II, secured from foreign 
invasion and internal disorders by British protection, found 
the superintendence of the state revenues too serious an 
encroachment on his daily pleasures. For Balaji's kamal 
system he substituted the practice of farming the revenue for 
short terms to the highest bidder. This practice was not 
without its advantages. It relieved the central Government 
of a vast and unceasing labour, and it shifted on to the revenue 
farmer and the villagers all losses caused by floods or drought. 
On the other hand all intercourse between the villagers and 
Government ceased, and the former became the victims of 
greedy and unscrupulous contractors. In their anger they 
were loud in their complaints against the pleasure-loving 
prince, who no longer protected them. It must not, however, 
be supposed that the English found the Peshwa's dominion a 
waste and ruined land. In spite of the faulty method of 
taxation, British protection and uninterrupted trade with 
Bombay had enabled the cultivators to recover from Holkar's 
invasion, and the Peshwa before his downfall had accumulated 
more than five crores of rupees. The English had the double 
advantage of displacing an unpopular Government and of 
assuming charge of a prosperous country. 1 

The administration of the conquered provinces was 
entrusted to Mountstuart Elphinstone, the former Resident at 
Poona. It was first intended that the new acquisitions should 
form part of the Presidency of Bengal ; but in 1819, Lord 
Hastings, upon Elphinstone's nomination to the Governorship 
of Bombay, resolved to incorporate them in that presidency, 
the size and dignity of which were thereby greatly increased. 2 
The decision was a fortunate one not only for Bombay but 
for the Deccan, which thus continued under the wise and 
sympathetic rule of the former envoy. 

1 See Elphinstone's Proclamation at Satara (Forrest's Elphinstone, 
p. 53). 

2 See Lord Hasting's letter to Mr. Elphinstone, dated 2nd July, 1819, 
at p. 102, vol. II, Colebrooke's Elphinstone. 


The conquest had been achieved with little difficulty because 
of the general indifference of the Maratha population ; but 
none knew better than Elphinstone the dangers that lay 
ahead. It was unlikely that the queenly city on the banks of 
the Muta river would cease to brood over the days when her 
victorious armies brought back in triumph through her gates 
the captured flags of Delhi, of Portugal and of England ; and 
when in her palaces treaties were signed that shook thrones 
on the Jamna and fortresses on the Cauvery. She was the 
capital of a proud and warlike people, who, if by any cause 
united, might prolong a guerilla war of independence for so 
many years that the East India Company might through 
sheer weariness return to them their freedom. There were 
two innovations that Elphinstone especially dreaded — the 
establishment of English law courts, and the attempt to spread 
Christianity. It is difficult at the present time fully to 
understand the hatred with which even in England the 
English law courts were regarded ; but the phrase " In 
Chancery", still applied in boxing circles to the worst position 
in which a pugilist can find himself, may help to give the 
modern reader some idea of the popular antagonism. The 
English lawyers had evolved so intricate and unintelligible 
a system that Bentham, not without justice, compared the 
common law of England to a poisonous parasite fastened to 
an oak, and asserted that it was stifling the very life out of the 
country to which it clung. By the exercise of caution and a 
determination never to invoke legal aid, an Englishman 
might hope to escape the perils of his own jurisprudence. 
But the unfortunate Indian had no such safeguard. He 
understood far less of English law than the Englishman, and 
he was so misguided as to think that from its provisions he 
might obtain justice. He was soon disillusioned on that 
score. The Company's courts in Bengal, partly because of 
the laws that they administered, partly also because of the 
incompetence of the judges appointed to preside over them, 
became mere centres of chicane, barratry, and corruption. 
The Indian who was so unfortunate as to get entangled in a 
lawsuit might deem himself lucky if, with a single rag to 
cover his nakedness, he lived long enough to see its conclu- 
sion. The popular horror of this terrible legal system 


spread from Bengal all over the peninsula, until at last a 
traveller in Upper India, riding through a village, saw its 
population fleeing panic-stricken into the jungle. He assumed 
that they dreaded the expected arrival of Lake's forces. The 
peasants assured him that it was not so. It was something 
much worse. It was the " Adalat " that was coming. They 
could have borne with stoic resignation the approach of 
British arms ; but they were fleeing, shrieking and un- 
manned, at the rumoured advent of British justice. 1 

Any active attempt to convert the Marathas to Christianity 
Elphinstone feared more. It was not that he doubted its 
truths ; but he realized that any effort to force a new religion 
on the most orthodox among Hindus would unite the entire 
nation against its foreign rulers. It is impossible to state 
his views better than he himself has done in a passage 
quoted by his biographer Colebrooke (vol. II, p. 95) : 

" I have left out of account the dangers to which we should 
be exposed by any attempt to interfere with the religious 
prejudices of the natives. These are so obvious that we 
may hope they will never be braved. The numbers and 
physical force of the natives are evidently incalculably 
greater than ours. Our strength consists in the want of 
energy and the disunion of our enemies. There is but one 
talisman that, while it animated and united them all, would 
leave us without a single adherent : this talisman is the name 
of religion. ... I do not point out the danger now from 
any apprehension that Government will ever attempt to 
convert the natives, but to impress upon it the consequences 
that would result from any suspicion that it was disposed to 
encourage such a project. While we enjoy the confidence of 
the natives our boldest innovations are safe ; but, that once 
lost, our most cautious measures would involve us in danger. 
It would not then be necessary that we should go so far as 
we do now ; the most indifferent action would suffice to excite 
that fanatical spirit, the springs of which are as obscure as its 
effects are tremendous." 

Both the dangers that Elphinstone dreaded were happily 
averted. The religious danger proved illusory, for no 

1 See Colebrooke's Elphinstone, vol. II, p. 131. 


attempt was made to convert the Marathas. The legal peril 
proved more real. As commissioner for the conquered 
provinces and afterwards as Governor of Bombay, Elphinstone 
retained so far as he could the old principles of administra- 
tion. The chiefs and principal sardars were given full 
criminal and civil jurisdiction over their estates. Subhedars 
he converted into collectors, borrowing the name from Madras. 
He made them not only revenue officials, but gave them also 
jurisdiction as judges and control over the police. Subordi- 
nate to the collectors, he appointed mamlatdars in charge of 
subdivisions. The collectors and assistant collectors were 
Englishmen ; the mamlatdars were either Deccan Brahmans 
or officials from Madras. He pressed upon the collectors to 
leave, so far as possible, civil litigation to the panchayats or 
councils of village elders. In towns the arbitrators were 
paid officials called amins. Important questions of law were 
referred through the commissioner to expert Hindu scholars 
known as shastris. This system worked admirably, but was 
regarded with jealous eyes by the English lawyers of Bombay. 
Matters came to a head in 1823, when a Supreme Court was 
created to take the place of the old Recorder's Court. 
Almost from its creation it sought to extend its jurisdiction. 
But Elphinstone steadfastly resisted its encroachments, and his 
successor, Sir John Malcolm, after a long and acrimonious 
dispute with the Chief Justice, Sir Peter Grant, obtained the 
approval of the law officers of the Crown to his predecessor's 
policy. As time passed the evils of the English law courts 
brought about their own remedy. Even the insular arrogance 
of the English Bar could not indefinitely ignore the fact that 
many countries on the Continent enjoyed an admirable juris- 
prudence, created by the genius and industry of the First 
Consul. Indeed it became clear that the choice lay between 
a reform of the laws and the adoption of the Code 
Napoleon. The latter alternative was so repugnant to the 
jurists of England, that they were driven to adopt the former. 
To do them credit, they were equal to the occasion ; and the 
noble labours of Eldon, Brougham and a host of fellow- 
workers produced the still imperfect, yet practical and 
intelligible system, on which have been founded the Indian 
codes of to«day. While the laws became simpler, the Maratha 


nation became more accustomed to English ways of thought. 
The existing courts of law were introduced with the approval 
of the people ; and the strongest proof of Elphinstone's 
wisdom is the entire absence to-day of any animosity against 
either the established law courts or the Christian religion. 

It was impossible to continue farming the land as Bajirao 
had done ; so it was decided to revert to the old method in 
which the revenue officers of the Government settled the 
assessment of each village in conclave with the village head- 
man. This was done yearly by the mamlatdars in conjunction 
with or under the supervision of the collector. But the 
mamlatdars were often venal, and the collectors had not the 
necessary knowledge or time to check their frauds. It was, 
therefore, decided to survey and assess the Deccan, village 
by village, on a permanent basis. With this object Mr. Prin- 
gle, Assistant Collector of Poona, was in 1825 appointed 
to survey and revise the assessment of Poona district. This 
was the beginning of the first great survey settlement, still 
well known as Pringle's Survey. 

The police also engaged the attention of this great 
administrator. In the Peshwa's times the patil was the unit of 
the police force. He was responsible for law and order in 
his village. He was helped by the chaughula, the kulkarni, 
and generally by the main body of the villagers. But his 
chief resource lay in the village watchman or Mahar. It was 
the latter's duty to keep watch at night, scrutinize strangers, 
and report suspicious individuals to the patil. When a theft 
was committed, it was the Mahar's duty to detect the thief. 
And, as he was always moving about the village either to 
collect his share of grain or his fees, there was little therein 
that escaped his observation. He was also a skilled tracker 
and could often follow the footsteps of the criminal to his 
home or hiding-place. If the thief's footprints led to another 
village, the watchmen of that village had to take up the 
pursuit, and the last village to which the footprints could be 
traced was held responsible for the losses caused by the theft. 
Over the headman was the subhedar, who kept up a force of 
sibbandis, or irregular infantry, and a small body of irregular 
horse. They were, however, intended to oppose violence 
rather than to detect crime. This system, rudimentary although 


it seems, worked admirably until the times of Bajirao II, 
when the disorders of the kingdom strained it to breaking 
point. To remedy the weakness of the district police, Bajirao 
created a body of officials known as tapasnavises, who 
corresponded with the modern Criminal Investigation Depart- 
ment, and whose duty was not only to detect crime, but to 
prevent it by superior vigilance. This arrangement worked 
well, and, as Blphinstone has admitted, violent crimes were 
rare and few complaints reached him of the insecurity of 

For the Maratha system, Elphinstone substituted bodies of 
district police, both mounted and unmounted, commanded by 
English officers and controlled by the collector. Out of these 
bodies of district police has grown the admirable and loyal 
force that is now under the orders of the Inspector-General. 
Yet many years of strenuous toil were needed before the 
Superintendents of Police appointed by Elphinstone reached 
the standard of efficiency reached in the days of the Peshwas. 
The result of Elphinstone's reforms cannot be better appraised 
than in his own modest language : 

" To sum up the effects of our revenue, police and judicial 
systems, we have in revenue lighter and more equal and more 
certain assessment, less peculation and consequently less 
profit to the agents of Government. In police more attention 
and more vigour and, so far, less efficiency. In civil justice, 
the great change is that Government has taken on itself the 
whole responsibility of protecting people's rights, but there is 
more form, more system, more scruples, more trials, more 
acquittals, more certain punishment for all crimes except 
robbery, and for that less certain and severe." * 

Just as the roads built by Marshal Wade to connect the 
lowlands with the highlands did more than aught else to 
bring together the plainsmen and hillmen of Scotland, so 
perhaps the chief factor in accustoming the Maratha people to 
the rule of an English king was the great road up the Bhor 
Ghat from Bombay to Poona. It was projected by Elphin- 
stone, but was not completed during his governorship. In 
course of time the railway was added to the carriage road ; 

1 Forrest's Elphinstone, p, 372. 


and the passenger who now travels in four hours from Poona 
to Bombay or from Bombay to Poona finds it difficult, if 
not impossible, to believe that little more than a hundred 
years ago the only highway between the English and the 
Maratha capitals was a steep and stony cart track, soaked 
repeatedly with the blood of contending armies. 

This brings me, somewhat abruptly perhaps, to the end of 
the task that I began eleven years ago. I have endeavoured, 
however feebly, to trace the history of a great people from 
the earliest times to their conquest by a foreign power. I 
have shown how, largely through a religious movement, they 
were able, while under the yoke of Delhi, to maintain their 
national feeling and customs. The rise of an almost super 
human genius enabled them to throw off the Musulman yoke 
and become aggressors in turn. The structure erected by 
Shivaji was shaken to the ground, not by the arms of an 
invader but by the domestic quarrels of his successors. But 
the country that had given birth to the great king was not 
yet exhausted ; and the house of Bhat rebuilt on its old 
foundations the fallen edifice. As time passed, the Chitpavan 
prince-ministers were ruined by the same cause as the 
Maratha kings had been, namely, their own family disputes. 
As the power of their rulers waxed or waned the fortunes of 
the Maratha people rose and fell, until at last they lost their 
independence ; for, as it was once said in the greatest of all 
epic poems : 

" It is the king that createth the Krita, the Treta, the 
Dwapara, and the Kali age ; for it is the king who is the 
cause of the era, and not the era the cause of the king." ' 

But in becoming the subjects of an English monarch, the 
Maratha people did not lose the qualities that had made them 
the foremost nation in India. Of them is Sir Ramkrishna 
Bhandharkar, the greatest archaeologist of his time. Of them 
also were Gokhale, the first of Indian orators, Telang, the most 
eloquent of Indian advocates, and Apte, the most charming of 
Indian novelists ; so too were Ranade and Chandavarkar, 
conspicuous among Indian judges. Under English officers 
the Maratha regiments have repeatedly proved their worth. 

1 Mahabharata : Udhyogparva. 


They stopped the rush of the Soudanese Arabs at MacNeill's 
zariba. And, so long as the Indian army endures, its officers 
will remember with gratitude the valour of the Maratha 
sepoys in the many battles, fought in Irak on the banks of 
the Tigris, and on the banks of the Euphrates. In commerce, 
it must be admitted, the Marathas have not prospered as 
their friends could have wished. The trade of Bombay is in 
the hands of Guzaratis, once the spoil of their bow and spear ; 
and thousands of Maratha peasants toil daily in the mills to 
swell the profits of millionaires from Broach, Ahmadabad and 
Surat. We can only hope that in no distant time the earnings 
of Maratha workers may go into Maratha hands. But that 
is in the future, and of the future no man can tell. The time 
has come for me to lay down my pen. I lay it down with 
regret, but lay it down I must ; for alike are over the epic of 
the Bhosles and the epic of the Chitpavans. 

" Stop !— for thy tread is on an empire's dust ! 

An Earthquake's spoil is sepulchred below ! 
Is the spot mark'd with no colossal bust ? 

Nor column trophied for triumphal show ? 

None ; but the moral's truth tells simpler so, 
As the ground was before, thus let it be ;— 

How that red rain hath made the harvest grow ! " l 

1 Childe Harold. 




Bhosle's Family Tree 

Maloji Bhosle 





Shahu 1 


I I 

Shahu II 



Shivaji the Great 

Vyankoji (Tanjore 


Rajaram I (Kolhapur branch) 

Shivaji II 


Sambhaji II 

Shivaji III 







Rajaram II 



Shivaji V 


Sir Shahu Chatrapati 





by Rao Bahadur D. B. Parasnis 

Before the conquest of the Deccan by the Marathas there were no 
regular courts of justice except the village council or panchayat, which 
was the most ancient and time-honoured institution in the country and 
worked well against injustice and oppression in every village. This 
was the only institution that survived revolutions and disturbances in 
the country, and lived through all the changes that had taken place 
since the downfall of the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar. It was 
based on sound principles of law and agreeable to the religion, 
habits and customs of the people. An English authority has aptly 
remarked that the panchayat system resembled the English jury 
system, which survived in England notwithstanding all the violent 
efforts of the Norman conquerors to supersede it by substituting for it 
trial by battle. The Mahomedan rulers of the Deccan seem to have 
interfered little with the administration of justice beyond shifting the 
seats of government. Their laws and regulations, founded on the 
Koran, referred mainly to their own class. The village council or 
panchayat continued in force, except that the names of the village and 
district officers were changed to patil and deshmukh respectively. 
Shivaji established his rule in Maharashtra about the middle of the 
17th century, and, though he hardly found the time to improve the 
administration, he created the post of Nyayadhish or Chief Justice in 
1661, and bestowed it on Niraji Raoji. The Nyayadhish was a member 
of his AshtaPradhan or Council of Eight, and the office was continued 
till the death of Raja Shahu in 1749. His Prime Minister, or Peshwa, 
Balaji Bajirao, introduced several changes in the administration at 
Poona and established a separate department for justice and law, and 
appointed Balkrishna Shastri Gadgil as Nyayadhish or Chief Judge. 
But the real reform in the judicial department was introduced in the 
time of Madhavrao I, who appointed the celebrated Ram Shastri as 
Chief Justice of Poona and gave him a separate establishment and full 
authority to frame laws and regulations for the better administration of 

Ram Shastri, surnamed Prabhune, was a Deshastha Brahmin and 
hailed from Mahuli, a village on the river Krishna near Satara. It is 
said that he served first as a shagirda or personal attendant to the 
Peshwa Balaji Bajirao, but owing to a sharp rebuke from the Peshwa he 
(eft his service and went to study at Benares, the chief seat of Sanskrit 


learning. There he spent a few years, and returned to Poona a well 
versed and learned shastri. The Peshwa Balaji, pleased with his 
high spirit and superior talents, appointed him as one of his shastris in 
1751, on a pay of Rs. 40 per month and half a dakshina or religious 
gift of Rs. 500 during the month of Shrawan, and a dress of honour 
worth Rs. 551. Two years later he was favoured with the gift of a 
horse, for which he received a monthly allowance of Rs. 15. After the 
death of Balkrishna Shastri in 1759 he was selected as Nyayadhish or 
Chief Justice and was given the distinction of a palanquin, which 
brought with it an allowance of Rs. 1,000 a year. Ram Shastri earned a 
great reputation for his learning, character, and virtues in the reign of 
Madhavrao I, who treated him with great respect and honour. Ram 
Shastri took special pains to instruct the Peshwa in law as well as in 
general administration. 

The following anecdote of Ram Shastri is most instructive and 
throws light on the admirable characters of both the Peshwa Madhav- 
rao and the learned Ram Shastri. Madhavrao was once so much 
influenced by the erudite and religious discourses of some learned 
Brahmans that for a time he began to perform the various rites and 
occupy himself with the meditations that the Shastras strictly enjoin 
upon devotees. Ram Shastri saw that this would come in the way of 
his duties as a Peshwa ; but he saw also the futility of dissuading the 
Peshwa by arguments which might perhaps make a man of Madhav- 
rao's character more firm in his resolution. One day Ram Shastri 
happened to go to the palace to attend upon the Peshwa when the 
latter was engaged in meditation ; and the Shastri had to return. The 
next day the Shastri went to the Peshwa and formally resigned his 
office, expressing his desire to retire to Benares to lead the spiritual life 
enjoined by the Shastras. Madhavrao immediately apologized for the 
apparent impropriety of his conduct the day before ; but excused 
himself by saying that he was engaged in meditations, as every Brahman 
ought to be. Ram Shastri replied that only those Brahmans who 
renounced all worldly advantages could afford to spend long hours in 
thought. Those Brahmans who had not discarded the material world 
for the spiritual but had assumed the duties of kings should devote 
their time more to the good of their subjects. That was the only way 
to justify their changed lives. " Your duty," said Ram Shastri, " is to 
attend first to the welfare of your people ; but, if you prefer your duties 
as a Brahman to those of a king, resign your throne and come with me 
and pass your life as strictly as the Shastras enjoin a Brahman to do ". 
Madhavrao, fair-minded as he was, recognized the justice of the rebuke 
and gave up his religious exercises. 

.Soon after the death of Madhavrao I, Ram Shastri's sterling quali- 
ties as a judge were put to the test when the Peshwa Narayanrao was 
murdered in 1774. It was generally suspected that Raghunathrao was 
privy to the murder ; and he asked Ram Shastri what was the penalty 
lor the act. Ram Shastri not only declared that capital punishment 
was the only penalty for this offence, but declined to serve any 


longer under a Peshwa who had murdered his own nephew. He left 
Poona to lead a retired life at Pandav Wadi near Wai. Later on, in 
1777, Nana Phadnavis induced Ram Shastri to return to Poona to 
resume his work as Nyayadhish, with an annual salary of Rs. 2,000 and 
an allowance of Rs. 1,000 for his palanquin. 

Mr. Mountstuart Elphinstone has given an elaborate account of the 
judicial system of the Peshwas, particularly the proceedings before 
Ram Shastri, in his report on the conquered territories of the Peshwas. 
Another authority, Dr. Coates, who was Residency Surgeon in Poona, 
contributed in 1819 some valuable notes on the administration of 
justice in Poona to the Literary Society of Bombay. He wrote : 

"A sort of ecclesiastical court and one for the administration of 
criminal justice were acknowledged in the city. A learned shastri, 
assisted by other shastris supposed to be acquainted with Hindu 
law, was at the head of the first. It took cognizance of all offences 
against the ordinances of religion, and breaches of rules of caste. It 
was also referred to for judgment in intricate criminal and civil cases, 
particularly when Brahmans were the parties concerned. Disputes, 
etc., in castes were permitted to be settled by their own bodies: 
appeals, however, were always open to the shastris, and, it is said, 
were encouraged. 

"The criminal court was composed of a Brahman president, some 
Brahman clerks, and a shastri. Its mode of proceeding, if the 
accused were professed thieves or old offenders, was summary, and had 
something of a sanguinary character. It was always essential to 
conviction that the offender should confess his guilt, and the investiga- 
tion turned much on this. The facts and evidence were all taken down 
in writing by karkuns (clerks), and persuasion and threats were used 
from time to time to obtain confession. If this failed, and when from 
the evidence recorded there appeared little doubt of the fault of the 
accused, torture was employed and he was flogged, the chilli bag 
was put to his nose, etc. If he persevered in his declaration of 
innocence, he was sent back to prison, put in the stocks, and 
allowed only a very scanty subsistence ; and after an interval was 
brought forward again and again to try to get him to confess. 
This refers chiefly' to Ramoosis, Mangs, and persons of bad character. 
In other cases the proceedings were conducted with more deliberation 
and forbearance ; and there were probably few instances where those 
entirely innocent were made to suffer. Persons accused of robbery 
and theft were readily admitted to bail, if the bondsman made 
himself responsible for the lost property in cases of conviction. 
Murder was not bailable, unless a compromise was made with the 
friends of the deceased. The accused might summon what evidence 
they pleased, but were not allowed to have any intercourse with them. 
When the offender had been convicted ou his own confession, the 
president, the shastri, and the Brahmans of the court, in ordinary 
cases, awarded the sentence ; and in intricate cases this was done 
by a body of learned shastris, sometimes in the presence of the 


Peshwa. No severe punishment was inflicted till the case had been 
submitted to the Peshwa for his approval. Brahmans, of course, what- 
ever their crimes, were never put to death, or subjected to any punish- 
ment considered ignominious. For small crimes they were often 
merely reproved, ordered to dispense charities, and perform religious 
penances ; or were subjected to slight fines, imprisonment, or flogging ; 
for those of a deeper die they were heavily fined, or confined in hill 
forts, sometimes in irons, where the climate and their scanty and 
unwholesome food commonly soon put an end to them ; and their 
property was sequestrated, and their sins visited on the children. 
Gangs committing murder, highway robbery, and house-breaking, 
were punished by death, and their bodies hung up on the sides of 
roads ; other professed incorrigible thieves were punished, according 
to the extent of their crimes, by the cutting off of a finger, or hand, or 
foot, or both, and left to their fate. Perjury was punished by the perjurer 
being made to make good the loss that depended on his false oath, and 
paying a fine to Government. Forgery, by the Hindu law, ought to have 
been punished by the cutting off of the right hand ; but this, like 
almost every crime at Poona, was commutable for money. Women 
were never punished by death for any crime. Turning them out of 
their castes, parading them on an ass with their heads shaved, cutting 
off their noses, etc., were the usual punishments. 

" Civil causes when men of rank were the suitors, or which involved 
much property, were generally referred to the ministers, and submitted 
to their arbitration, or tried by panchayat. Small crimes and disputes 
in the villages were within the jurisdiction of the patel, who punished 
the former by reproof or stripes, but was not permitted to levy 
lines. The latter were settled on his authority, or, if the parties 
demanded it, by panchayat. Disputes of greater importance, if the 
parties belonged to different villages, were referred to the revenue 
officer, who again settled them on his authority, or by a panchayat 
constituted of members from the neighbouring villages. The shets 
and mahajans, and the civil officers of trading towns, were supposed to 
have the same authority within their divisions as the patels had in 
the villages ; but their power had been curtailed. Sirdars and men of 
rank, besides administering justice to their immediate servants and 
dependents, were often called on by their neighbours ; and many 
disputes were equitably adjusted in this way. 

" Together with these different chances that the people had of getting 
justice, custom in many instances allowed them to take the law iato 
their own hands. This was especially the case in the recovery of debts. 
Debtors were seldom submitted to imprisonment, but the modes of 
annoyance resorted to by the creditor were perhaps more effectual in 
bringing them to a speedy settlement. 

" Causes that could not be satisfactorily settled simply by the 
authority they were referred to were tried by panchayat. A panchayat 
assumes in the eye of Hindu law a sacred character, whence it is 
termed also pane// permeswer, or the god of five persons. No oath is 


administered to the members of a panchayat ; but, before proceeding 
to try a cause, they are reminded of the sacredness of the character 
they have to maintain, and the punishment that awaits them in the 
next world should they violate it by acting contrary to their consciences. 
A panchayat may consist of from two to twelve members or more ; but 
four is the usual number. It was optional with the disputants to 
nominate the members themselves, or to leave this to the Government, 
but even in the latter case they had the right of challenge. These public 
calls, however, seem seldom to have been considered a hardship : custom 
had rendered them familiar, and the selection was thought a mark of 
distinction. The trial by panchayat was pretty uniform, and went in 
a great measure on the principle of deciding on the case as represented 
by the parties themselves ' ' . 

"The panchayats " writes Elphinstone, "were more frequently 
named by the parties than the judge, but Ram Shastri and his deputies 
seem frequently to have presided at the trial, the panchayat performing 
nearly the same functions as a jury in England. A good deal of 
the investigation seems to have been entrusted to Ram Shastri's 
karkuns, who reported to him and the panchayat, and in the decree 
the names of the members of the panchayat are not mentioned, even 
when it is merely a repetition of their award. The decision was always 
in the Peshwa's name, and in all cases of magnitude required his 
signature; all cases relating to land were of this description, and the 
same holds good all over the country where claims to land are con- 
sidered more immediately under the superintendence of Government. 
It was not unusual in the country as well as in Poona for a Government 
officer to receive the complaint and answer, with the documents and the 
written evidence of witnesses, and lay the whole in this shape before 
the panchayat, who could call for more evidence if they required it. 
Much time must have been saved by this arrangement ; but it gave the 
officer of Government considerable opportunities of imposing on the 
panchayat. The members of the panchayat received no fee, but 
when they had much trouble the winner of the suit made them openly 
a present for their pains. 

"A sum of money was likewise levied for the Government from 
the winner, under the name of harki, which means congratulatory 
offering, and from the loser under the name of gunhegari or fine. 
These gunhegaris varied with the means of litigants, but from the 
revenue accounts I observe that one-fourth of the property is always 
put down as the price paid for justice by the plaintiff when he wins his 
cause. The plaintiff losing his cause was obliged to pay the expenses of 
the defendant, if the latter were poor." 

Such was the judicial system that prevailed in Poona and in the 
country at the time of the Peshwas, and, though there was no regular 
procedure, it is said to have worked very well in those days ; and there 
were far less acts of injustice and violence under this irregular system 
than one might suppose. The reason for this, according to Dr. Coates, 
" is chiefly to be looked for in the mildness and abhorrence of cruelty in 


the dispositions of the people produced by many of their religious 
maxims". In Poona the system distributed equal justice under the 
able judge Ram Shastri, who after his return in 1777 held the post of 
the Nyayadhish till his death in the year 1789. The Government of the 
Peshwas appreciated the services of this eminent judge in various ways, 
and, lastly, as a mark of respect to bis memory, gave a donation of 
Rs. 2,000 towards his funeral expenses. 

Ram Shastri left behind him a son named Gopal Shastri, who used to 
get Rs. 3,200 as an annual grant from the Peshwas' Government. His 
descendants are still living at Mahuli, and are well known for their 
Vedic learning. 

There are many stories still current about Ram Shastri's skill as a 
judge, his fearless independence, and his upright character, his extreme 
truthfulness and his sound knowledge. Such a noble character as his 
was bound to make a mark, and few people equalled Ram Shastri in the 
influence he wielded over the public and the respect he received from 
all. For weight and soundness his opinions were universally admired 
and his learned judgments in the panchayat were considered precedents 
for future guidance. Grant Duff has paid a glowing tribute to Ram 
Shastri's work, and the estimate which the great historian has formed 
of the man shows how much of the good in the administration of the 
Peshwas was due to Ram Shastri. "The first person" writes Grant 
Duff, " who held this situation of Nyayadhish was Ram Shastri. 
He was, I believe, appointed by the First Madhavrao, whose character 
as an upright judge stands higher than that of any other Peshvva. But 
even after the death of his patron, Ram Shastri continued to uphold the 
duties of this situation with becoming dignity and high honour ; his 
memory is revered throughout the country, and many of the good acts of 
Nana Phadnavis are believed to have originated in the weight and 
respectability of Ram Shastri's opinions. Such a public character 
under a corrupt Government is beyond all praise, and a succession of 
such examples, even if they had stood alone in their generation, would 
have prevented the general debasement of morals which Bajirao and 
his court effected so rapidly in Poona." 

On the death of Ram Shastri, his right-hand man, Ayya Shastri, who 
was equally learned and upright but rather weak, was appointed 
Nyayadhish in his place. He conducted the duties, until, growing- 
disgusted with Bajirao's interference in the judicial administra- 
tion, he ran away from Poona and then became a sannyasi. Bal 
Shastri Tokekar was nominated to the office, but, owing to the inferior 
state of the administration, the system, which till then with all its 
defects had proved successful, lost its prestige and importance. 

' ' The late Peshwa ' ' writes Grant Duff, ' ' had a better opportunity 
than any of his predecessors of amending laws or of fixing whatever was 
considered equitable by the generality of his subjects, but the Prince 
possessed neither ability nor inclination for a task of the kind. During 
the last twenty years, matters in this respect were probably worse than 
at any former period. Bajirao raised mean men for disgraceful acts, 


and ruined respectable persons who had any value for their own and 
the fair reputation of their families. Decisions, therefore, in most cases 
depended on the will of unprincipled individuals, who cared little for 
public opinion and who had few restraints either upon their caprice or 
their avarice. Bajirao listened to no complaints, much less redressed 
them. Every rich man and every man in office, however insignificant 
his place, assembled panchayats and decided civil suits. These deci- 
sions, however, were often reversed, or new panchayats ordered at 
the pleasure of any greater man. The Nyayadhish (Bal Shastri) did 
uot interfere with the panchayat convened by any powerful man, 
lest a superior influence to his own should occasion the loss of his 
situation. The duties of the office called Nyayadhish were latterly 
exercised in Poona by a shastri who was appointed by Bajirao with a 
considerable establishment. This establishment cost the Government 
nothing : there was no salary and the whole was supported by enrolment 
neither authorized nor forbidden. To remark what Bajirao was is 
superfluous, but the course of events affords a useful lesson, and I 
cannot help thinking that, had Bajirao been a better prince, he would 
have never dared to commit in any case acts which impunity in smaller 
crimes led him to perpetuate." 



Letter, dated 22nd September 1799, giving the news of the 
death of Patwardhan. 

To Shriraant Rajeshri Dhanisaheb. From Bhaskar Rao. After com- 
pliments :— The news from this side is as follows : — The Maharaja of 
Kolhapur with his army crossing the Vedaganga, encamped near 
Hamadwada, while Shrimant Bhausaheb arrived near Pattan Kudi with 
his infantry and artillery. There was a distance of five or six miles be- 
tween the two camps ; and every day there was reconnoitring. On 
Tuesday, the 4th of Bhadrapad dark fortnight (September 18, 1799), the 
Maharaja of Kolhapur attacked that place. Bhausaheb was prepared to 
face the enemy. Shrimant Ramchandrapant Appa, the eldest son of 
Bhausaheb, made an assault on the enemy. In the beginning a 
bombardment of guns took place, after which there was a hand-to- 
hand fight with swords. Ramchandrapant Appa showed the utmost 
bravery. More than once the attacks of the Kolhapur army were 
repulsed and they had to retreat. A bullet, passing through the right 
arm of Ramchandrapant Appa, wounded him. The fortune of battle 
took a sudden unfavourable turn. Shrimant Bhausaheb received 
severe wounds and departed from this world, while performing his 
duties in the cause of his master. Divine dispensations could not be 

(Parasnis' Collection.) 


Abdali, see Ahmad Shah, S3, etc. 
Abhai Sing, Maharaja of Jodhpur, 

Adas, battle of, 113, 114. 
Adina Beg, 56. 
Ahalyabai, 99. 
Ahmadabad, S. 
Ahmad Khan, 53. 
Ahmad Khan Bangash, 70. 
Ahmadnagar, 15. 
Ahmad Shah, King of Afghans, 
53, 57, 59, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 
68-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 98. 
Ahmad Shah, Moghnl Emperor, 

Alamgir II, 54, 56. 
Alandi, 3. 
Aligohar, 56, 63, 81, 98 ; see Shah 

Alia Vardi Khan, 27. 
Amatya Bawadekar, 23. 
Amir Khan, Chief of Tonk, 199. 
Amritrao, adopted son of Raghu- 
nathrao, 94, 127, 183, 188, 220, 
Anandibai, 80, 84, 85, 92, 94, 102, 

103, 104, 105, 108, 110. 
Anandrao Jadhav, 9. 
Anandrao Gaikvad, 209. 
Appa Balwant Mehendale, 97, 177, 

Appaji Ram, 93, 96. 
Appa Sahib Bhosle, 219. 
Aravali, 12. 

Arcot, 21 (family tree), 47. 
Argaon, battle of, 196. 
Asaf Jah, 14. 
Asbota, village of, 4. 
Assaye, battle of, 195. 
Atai Khan, 67. 
Aurangabad, 1, 2, 15, 16, 26. 
Aurangzib, 31. 


Babaji Barve, 103. 

Baburao Jadhav, 9. 

Baburao Phadke, 72, 180, 186, 207. 


Baburao Phadnis, 82, 83, 85. 

Badaon Ghat, 57, 58, 98. 

Bagalkot, 34. 

Baillie, Colonel, 134. 

Bajaba Purandare, 105, 110, 124- 

Bajirao I Peshwa, 24, 31. 
Bajirao II, 110, 174-233. 
Bakhta Sing of Jodhpur, 58, 59. 
Balaji Peshwa, 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 

15, 18, 26, 29, 31. 
Balaji Yamaji, 7. 
Balambhat Haribhat, 44. 
Balasinor, 8. 

Baloba Tatya Pagnis, 183, 184. 
Balshastri Gadgil, 76. 
Balwantrao Mehendale, 4, 42, 60, 

64, 66, 67, 85, 97. 
Bankot, port of, 24. 
Bapu Gokhale, 207, 213. 
Bapuji Retharekar, 4. 
Barwell, Richard, 114. 
Basalat Jang, 39, 134. 
Bassein, 7, 20, 23, 112, 115, 135, 

Bassein, treaty of, 200, 206 
Bawa Malang, 135. 
Bedar, 15, 41. 107. 
Bednur, 29. 
Bhagirthabai, 57. 
Bhalki, treaty of, 19. 
Bhaskarrao, son of Raghunathrao, 

85 ; dies, 88. 
Bhawanrao Pratinidhi, 85, 88, 105. 
Bhima, 5. 
Bhimgad, 13. 
Bhivrao Panse, 118, 127. 
Bhosle family tree, 240. 
Bimbaji Bhosle, 35. 
Bithur, 221. 
Bourchier, 22. 
Brahmendra Swami, 23, 28. 
Burhanpur, 1, 18, 39. 
Burr, Colonel, 213. 
Buxar, battle of, 62. 

Calcutta, 26. 
Carnatic, 1. 



Chanda Sahib, 20, 21, 22. 
Chandanagore, 26, 27, 37. 
Chandan Wandan, 25. 
Chaphaji Tilekar, 105. 
Chatursing, brother of Shahu II, 

Chevreuse, Mme de, 2. 
Chikka Devraj, 31. 
Chimnaji Appa, 12, 75, 100, 112, 

Chimnaji Appa, brother of Bajirao 

II, 184. 
Chinto Vithal Rairikar, 85, 106, 

124, 127, 129, 130, 131. 
Clavering, Colonel, 114. 
Clive, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27. 
Connoidurg, fort of, 24. 
Coote, Sir Eyre, 134. 

Dabhai, battle of, 2, 3, 114, 132. 

Dalwai, 31, 34. 

Damaji Gaikvad, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 13, 

60, 74. 
Dattaji Sindia, 16, 56, 57; killed, 

58, 64, 98. 
Daulatrao Sindia, 183-188, 197, 

De Boigne, 161-167. 
De Bussey, 1, 15, 16, 17-19, 20, 

22, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 

37, 38, 39. 
De Lally, 39. 
Delia Valle, Pietro, 29. 
Devadeveshwar, 77. 
Devicottah, 21. 
Dhodap Fort, 94, 111. 
Dhondaba Purandare, 118. 
Dhondupant (alias Nana Sahib), 

Dig, 54, 73. 
Divaji Pant, 85. 
Dodda Krishnaraj, 31. 
Drake, Governor of Calcutta, 26. 
Dupleix, 21, 22, 33. 
Durgabai. daughter of Anandibai, 

Durgaji Mahadik Taralekar, 123. 
Dvvarkabai Shenvi, 14. 

Egerton, Colonel, 127. 
Elphinstone, Mountstuart, 211, 
212-237, 243. 

Farmer, Mr., 129, 130, 132, 139. 

Fatehdurg, 24. 

Fatehpur Sikri, battle of, 160, 

Fatehsing Gaikvad, 6, 111, 113, 

114, 122, 132 ; dies, 208. 
Fatehsing Gaikvad, sou of 

Govindrao Gaikvad, 209. 
FazlAli Khan, 90. 
Francis, Philip, 114. 
Fyfe, Ensign, 133. 

Gaikvad of Baroda (genealogical 

tree), 217. 
Gangabai, widow of Narayanrao, 

105, 108, 109, 110, 122, 124. 
Gangadhar Yeshwant, 79, 94. 
Gangadhar Shastri, 210, 211. 
Ghashiram Kotwal, 175. 
Ghazi-ud-din, (the elder), 2, 14, 15; 

poisoned, 18, 31, 53, 54. 
Ghazi-ud-din, (the younger), 53. 

54, 55, 62, 63, 79. 
Gheria, 23 see Vijayadurg. 
Ghodnadi, battle of, 16, 85. 
Ghulam Kadir, 160, 162, 163. 
Gingens, Captain, 20. 
Goa, 24, 112. 
Goddard, General, 130, 132-133, 

134-135, 137. 
Godeheu, 22, 25, 33, 36. 
Golconda, 15. 
Gopalrao Patwardhan, 43, 44, 45, 

82, 85, 88, 90, 117. 
Gopikabai, 12, 74, 77. 
Gopinath Dikshit, 118. 
Goupil, 32. 
Govindpant Bandela, 56, 60, 66, 

67, 68, 74. 
Govindrao Chitnis, 8. 
Govindrao Gaikvad, 110, 111, 113, 

208 ; dies, 209. 
Govindrao Patwardhan, 44. 
Grant, Sir Peter, Chief Justice, 

Gurramkonda Fort, 97, 98. 


Hadinad, 30. 
Haidarabad, 1, 2. 
Haidar Ali, 44, 45, 89, 92-94, 
96-97, 98, 104, 107, 108-110, -119, 
120, 121, 125, 130, 132, 134. 



Haidar Jang, 38. 

Harcourt, Colonel, 196. 

Had Babaii, 131. 

Hari Ballal Phadke, 82, 83, 86, 

103-106, 110, 112, 113, 114, 117, 

118, 120, 125, 137. 
Harihar, 34. 

Hartley, Captain, 128, 129, 133. 
Hastings, Warren, 114, 132, 134. 
Himmatgad, fort of, 24. 
Hiraji Patankar, 102. 
Hole Honnur fortress, 34. 
Holmes, Mr., 130. 


Ibrahim Beg Dhansa, 120, 122. 
Ibrahim Khan Gardi, 39, 60, 62, 

64, 69, 70-73, 80. 
lchalkaranji State, 44, 117. 
Icharam Dhare, 105. 
Intizam-ud-Daula, 54. 
Ishtur Phakde, 16. 
Ismail Beg Hamadani, 163, 166. 

Jagjiwan Pratinidhi, 85. 
James, Commodore, 24. 
Jamkhandi, 34, 44. 
Jankoji Sindia, 58, 60, 64, 66, 67, 

69, 70, 72, 73, 98, 117. 
Janoji Bhosle, 1, 9, 35, 38, 39, 85 

86, 87, 88, 92, 94-96, 104 ; dies, 

Janoji Nimbalkar, 2. 
Janrao Vable, 57, 58. 
Janu Bhimtade, 73. 
Jaswantrao Holkar, 193, 194, 

Jaswantrao Powar, 60, 70, 74, 75, 

Jawahir Mai, 98. 
jawan Mard Khan Babi, 8. 
Jawid, 53. 
Jayappa Sindia, 8, 12, 54 ; killed, 

Jejuri Temple, 9. 
Jenkins, Mr., 220. 
Jijibai, Queen of Sambhaji, 13; 

died, 225. 
Jyotiba Sindia killed, 58. 

Kaiam Khan Bangash, 52, 53. 
Kanade Ramachandra Ganesh, 

Kanherrao Patwardhan, 119, 120. 
Kanherrao Trimbak Ekbote, 16. 
Kanhoji Angre, 23. 
Kanhoji Gaikvad, 208, 209. 
Kapileshwar, Temple, 83, 84. 
tCasegaon, battle of, 109. 
Kashibai, Peshwa's mother, 4. 
Kashirai, 74. 

Kashirao Holkar, 179, 185. 
Keating, 113. 114, 115. 
Khadilkar, 178. 
Khanderao, Minister of Mysore 

Khanderao Dabhade, 2, 128. 
Khanderao Gaikvad, 6, 7, 8. 
Khanderao Holkar, 99, 186. 
Khandoji Mankar, 24, 25. 
Kharaksing, 104, 105, 129, 131. 
Khed, 4. 
Khedal, 15. . 
Kherunissa, sister of ZabitaKhan, 

Kirkee, battle of, 213. 
Koregaon, 17. 

Koregaon, battle of, 214-216. 
Koupineshwar, 23. 
Kukardi, battle of, 16. 
Kunipura, 63. 
Kivrundwad, 44. 

Lakdi, Phul, 75. 

Lake, General, 196, 198. 

Law, 37. 

Laxmibai Mehendale, 67. 

Laxmibai, wife of Vishvasrao, 73. 

Leslie, Colonel, 127, 130. 

Lohgad Fort, 7. 

Longueville, Mme de, 2. 

Lowe, Captain, 221. 


Mackintosh, Sir James, 223. 

Madhavji Naik Nimbalkar, 123. 

Madhavrao Ballal Peshwa, 80, 82, 
91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 97-99, 100, 104, 
108, 111, 117, 121, 123. 

Madhavrao II, see Savai Madhav- 

Madhavrao Raste, 193, 207. 

Madhavrao Sindia, 16, 38, 74, 98, 
99, 100, 109, 110, 112, 118, 121, 
124, 125, 127, 129, 130, 132-134, 
138, 159-168. 



Mahadji Purandare, 4, 12, 13, 16, 

Mahomed Ali, 22, 45, 93, 119. 
Mahomed Shah, Moghul Empe- 
ror, 52, 54. 
Makar Sankrant, 57. 
Malcolm, Sir John, 212, 220, 235. 
Malerao Holkar, 99. 
Malet, Charles, 113. 
Malharrao Holkar, 8, 13, 35, 54, 

56, 57, 58, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 

68, 69, 70, 72-74, 75, 87. 
Malharrao Holkar, son of Tukoji 

Holkar, 186, 187. 
Malharrao Holkar, son of Jaswant- 

rao Holkar, 199. 
Maloji Sindia, 57. 
Manaji Angre, 23, 24, 28. 
Manaji Gaikvad, 6, 111. 
Manaji Sindia, 16, 99, 120. 
Market Drayton, 20. 
Mastani, 4, 24. 
Medows, General, 152. 
Michael Filoze, 186. 
Mir Mannu, 55. 
Mirza Sikaudar Jah, son of Nizam 

Ali, 195. 
Momin Khan, Nawab of Cambay, 

Monro, General, 218. 
Monson, Colonel, 114, 197, 198. 
M. Moracin, Governor of Masuli- 

patam, 37. 
Mornington, see Wellesley. 
Moroba Phadnavis or Bhanu, 85, 

88, 103, 110, 124, 125. 
Mudhoii Bhosle, 35, 104, 109, 118, 

120-122, 126, 138. 
Murarirao Ghorpade, 22, 30, 35, 

36, 91, 92, 118. 
Muzaffir Jang, 1. 
Muzaffir Khan, 34, 35. 
Mysore (or Maisur) , 29, 45 ; Mysore 

pedigree, 46. 


Nagpur Bhosles, family tree of, 

Najabat Khan, 63. 
Najib-ud-Daulat, 55, 56, 64, 81. 
Nana Phadnavis, 82, 83, 85, 86, 88, 

94, 103, 106, 108-110, 114, 115, 

122-126, 128, 129, 131-140, 147- 

191, 192, 193. 
Nana Sahib Purandare, 4, 11. 

Narayanarao Peshwa, 97, 102-110, 

Nargund, siege of, 147, 148. 
Naropant Joshi, 43. 
Naro Shankar Dani, 35, 60, 73. 
Nasir Jang, 1, 32, 33. 
Nawab of Carnatic, 29. 
Nawab of Kadapa, 29, 35, 42. 
Nawab of Kurnul, 29, 35. 
Nawab of Savanur, 29, 33, 35, 36, 

40, 42, 90, 91, 92, 86, 119. 
Nawab of Sira, 29, 42, 82, 90, 93, 

Nimb, 4. 
Nimbgaon, 4. 
Nizam's family tree, 48. 
Nizam Ali, 18, 38, 39, 40, 41, 54, 

81, 84, 85-89. 92, 93, 107, 109, 

110, 119-121, 132, 170-180. 
Nizamkonda, 6, 11. 
Nizam-ud-din, 63. 
Northern Sirkars, 33. 

Ousha, fort of, 41. 

Pabal, 15. 

Pandharpur, 14. 

Pandurangrao Patwardhan, 119. 

Pangal, 2. 

Panipat, battle of, 79-83, 87, 93, 

98, 99, 117, 127. 
Pant Sachiv, 3. 
Parashrarnbhau Patwardhan, 137, 

151-154, 187 ; killed, 225, 248. 
Pargad, 13. 
Pargaon, 4. 
Parvatibai, widow of Sadashivrao, 

117, 118, 124. 
Pasand Khan, 58. 
Pattinson, 215. 
Patwardhan, family tree, 43. 
Pedgaon, treaty of, 84. 
Perron, General, 196. 
Pilaji Gaikvad, 3. 
Plassey, battle of, 27, 39. 
Poona, 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 17, 

34, 35, 40, 42, 45, 60, 75-77, 81, 

86, 87, 90, 93, 97, 100, 103, 106, 

108, 110, 114, 118, 119, 121-123, 

126-129, 132. 
Popham, Captain, 134. 
Powar, 8. 
Pratapsing, Raja of Satara, 219. 



Pratapsing, Raja of Tanjore, 30. 
Pratinidhi, 3, 207. 
Pringle, Mr., 236. 
Pritzler, General, 218. 
Pula, Shrine of, 43. 

Radhabai, (Madhavrao II Pesh- 

wa's grandmother), 4. 
Raghuji Angre, 118, 119. 
Raghuji Bhosle, 1, 9, IS, 35, 185. 
Raghunathrao Peshwa, 7, 8, 56, 

59, 60, 75, 76, 80-82, 83-88, 90, 

110-115, 119, 121, 122, 124, 126, 

127, 129-131, 139, 140. 
Raghunathrao Kolatkar, 118. 
Raja Sahib, 21. 
Rakhshasabhavan, 87, 88, 92, 95, 

106, 126. 
Ramabai, wife of Madhavrao I, 

Ramaji Mahadev Biwalkar, 6, 23, 

24, 25. 
Ramchandra Baswant, 6, 7. 
Ramchandra Jadhav, 37, 81. 
Ramchandra Shenvi, 6, 8, 12, 13, 

Ramdas, 1, 3, 15 ; given title of 

Raja Raghunathdas, 17 ; killed, 

18, 32. 
Ramraja, 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 23, 80, 103, 

109, 123. 
Ramshastri Prabhune, 83, 118, 

Ramsing of Jodhpur, 58. 
Ranjangaon, 16. 
Ranoji Sindia, 8, 12. 
Rav Rambha Janoji Nimbalkar, 

Rukn-ud-Daula, 107. 

Sabaji Bhosle, 35, 104, 107, 109, 

121, 122. 
Sadashivrao, son of Chimnaji 

Appa, II, 12, 13, 16, 33, 40, 41, 

59, 60, 63, 64, 65, 67-74, 75, 76, 

87, 108, 117, 118. 
Sadashivrao Shenvi, 8. 
Safdarjang, 52, 53, 54. 
Sakharam Bapu, 80, 84, 86, 87, 90, 

102, 103, 105-110, 130, 131. 
Sakharam Ghatge, 185, 188. 
Sakharam Hari Gupte, 87, 106, 

108, 113, 115, 124-126. 

Sakhar Khedale, treaty of, 40, 41. 
Salabat Jang, 1, 2, 3, 15, 16, 17, 

18, 19, 22, 31, 33, 34, 38, 40, 41, 

84, 88, 89, 92. 
Salbai, treaty of, 139, 142. 
Salpa pass, 4. 
Sambhaji Angre, 23. 
Sambhaji of Kolhapur, 13, 120,121. 
Satara, 1, 2, 3, 4-9, 11, 12, 15, 25, 

83, 103, 106, 123, 126. 
Savai Madhavrao, 109, 110, 124, 

128, 131, 140, 160-180. 
Sayad Lashkar Khan, 1, 32, 33. 
Sayaji Gaikvad, 6, 111, 114. 
Sayaji of Tanjore, 30. 
Seringapatam (Shrirangpatan), 30, 

33, 34, 45, 152, 158. 
Sena Khas Khel, 8. 
Sena Sahib Subha, 35. 
Shah Alam, Emperor, 81, 98, 99, 

100, 106, 160, 162, 196. 
Shah Navaz Khan, 33, 34, 37, 38 ; 

killed, 39. 
Shahaji, father of Shivaji, 10, 29, 
Shahaji, Raja of Tanjore, 21. 
Shahaji, last Maharaja of Satara, 

226, 227. 

Shah Jahan, 63. 

Shah Jahan Bakht, 63. 

Shahu I, 2, 29, 34. 

Shahu II (Dhakate Shahu), 123. 

Shahu (Sir Shahu Chatrapati), 

Shambhu Mahadev, Temple, 3. 

Shamsher Bahadur, 24, 60, 64, 73. 

Shankarji Keshav Phadke, 7. 

Shingwa, armistice of, 17. 

Shiva, 9. 

Shivaji, 10, 29, 33. 

Shivaji Bhosle adopted to Kolha- 
pur, 121 ; dies, 225. 

Shripatrao Bapuji, 8. 

Shripatrao Pratinidhi, 31. 

Shuja-ud-Daula, 56, 63, 64, 81. 

Shyamji Govind Dikshit, 31. 

Sidis of Janjira, 22, 23. 

Sikandra, 58. 

Sindia, family tree, 61. 

Sindkhed, 38. 

Sinhgad Fort, 4, 7, 86, 131. 

Sinhast, 14. 

Sirur, 4. 

Sitabaldi Hill, battle of , 220. 

Smith, General, 218. 

Songad Fort, 7. 

Staunton, Colonel, 214-216. 

Stevenson, Colonel, 195. 

Stewart, Lt. Charles, 130, 132, 



St. Lubiu, 124. 

Surajmal, 54, 63. 

Suraj-ud-Daula, 26, 36. 

Surat, 7, 62, 113, 115, 116, 126, 

129, 130, 132-135. 
Suvarnadurg, 23, 24, 25, 118. 
Synopsis of events from 1750 to 

1760, 49. 

Talegaon Damdhere, 16. 

Tanjore, 29. 

Tarabai, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 

15, 23, 76, 81, 121, 123. 
Timur Shah, son of Ahmad Shah 

Abdali, 55, 56. 
Tipu Sultan, 107, 133, 147-154 ; 

killed, 184. 
Tirupati, temple of, 45. 
Trichinopoli, 20, 22. 
Trimbak Fort, 17, 19, 94. 
Trimbakji Dengle, 210, 211, 221. 
Trimbakrao Dabhade, 2, 9, 114. 
Trimbakrao Pethe (or Mama), 82, 

84, 85, 97, 100, 106, 109. 
Trimbakrao Purandare, 4, 5, 11, 

13, 60, 74. 
Tukoji Holkar, 98, 99, 109, 110, 

112, 121, 124, 127, 129, 131 ; dies, 

Tukoji of Tanjore, 30. 
Tukoji Sindia, 74, 98. 
Tulaji Angre, 23, 24, 28, 76, 80. 
Tulsibai, mistress of Jaswantrao 

Holkar, 199 ; killed, 224. 


Uddhav Vireshwar Chitale, 39. 
Udgir, 41, 59, 62, 81, 82, 85, 86. 
Uhtoff, Mr., 178. 
Umabai Dabhade, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12. 
Umabai, wife of Sadashivrao, 67. 
Umravgir (or Anupgir Gosavi), 

Upton, Colonel, 115. 
Urali, 81. 

Vellore, 22. 

Vijayadurg, 23, 24, 25, 26, 118. 

Vijayanagar, 29, 30. 

Vijayasing of Jodhpur, 59. 

Virata, 5. 

Viratnagar, 5. 

Visaji Krishna Biniwale, 40, 89, 

98, 99, 100, 106. 
Vishvasrao, son of Peshwa, 59, 

60, 63, 71, 72, 73, 74, 80-82. 
Vithal Shivdev Vinchurkar, 8, 35, 

60, 75, 78. 
Vithal Sundar Raje Pratapwant, 

85, 87, 88. 
Vithoji Holkar, 193. 
Volkonda, 20, 

Vyankoji, Raja of Tanjore, 29. 
Vyankatrao Ghorpade, Chief of 

Ichalkaranji, 118. 
Vyankatrao Nimbalkar, 41. 


Wai, 5. 

Wallabhgad, 13. 
Watson, Admiral, 25, 27. 
Wellesley, Arthur, 194. 
Wellesley, Marquis of, 188. 
Welsh, Lieut., 133. 
Winchester (ship), 20. 
Women's War, 2-9. 
Woodington, Colonel, 196. 

Yado Mahadev Nirgude, 3. 
Yakub Ali Khan, 62. 
Yashwantrao Dabhade 3,4,6,7,9. 
Yashwantrao Mane, 120. 
Yashodabai, wife of S a v a i 

Madhavrao, 178, 184. 
Yenna, river, 5, 11. 
Yeoteshwar Hill, 3, 6. 
Yesaji Sindia, 121. 

Zabita Khan, 100, 106. 

Printed in India by George Kenneth at the Diocesan Press, Madras— 1925. C64U 


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